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Aviators Gain Altitude

July 25, 2007 - American Association (AA) - Coastal Bend Aviators News Release

It must have seemed like a month for the Aviators and their fans, but on Wednesday night in Fort Worth, Coastal Bend got their first win in two and a half weeks to end a 12 game losing streak with a 6-3 triumph over the Cats. The Aviators last win came on July 8th in a 7-2 victory at Shreveport.

Kevin Hull notched a win over his former club by pitching 6 innings and allowing just 2 earned runs. During the losing streak, Aviator pitchers had quite a few quality outings without much run support. In fact in 8 of the 12 losses, Coastal Bend failed to score more than 1 run. In this game the Aviators hitters sent a message early that their bats would stay silent no longer.

Trailing 2-0 in the second Stephen Morales led off with a single and Will Lewis moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt. Matt Spencer then cracked a two run homer off Cats starter Nick Martin and the game was tied at 2. It was Spencer's second homerun with Coastal Bend since being acquired in a trade from Fort Worth earlier this season. Fort Worth answered in the bottom of the third when with two out and two on Steven Trout singled to center to score Carlos Adolfo and push the Cats back in front 3-2.

In the sixth, a walk to Grant Richardson and a single to center by Bryon Smith brought Morales to the plate. He was hit by a pitch as was the next man Will Lewis. That forced in a run to tie the game 3-3. Then the Aviators offense finally got the big hit they'd been waiting for when Phillip Grau lined a 1-2 pitch to right field scoring Smith and Morales for a 5-3 lead. Travis Tully followed with a sacrifice fly to increase the margin to 6-3 and the Aviators turned the game over to their bullpen.

Tim Haines worked a scoreless seventh, Jonathan Hunton a scoreless eighth, and Tom Atlee closed the door for his 12th save. It was his first save opportunity since July 5th. Together the three relievers struck out 6 of the 10 batters they faced.

With the win, Hull improves to 6-5 on the season. Martin falls to 4-5. Coastal Bend must now turn their attention to North Division power Lincoln, who comes to Fairgrounds Field for the only three meetings of the season between the teams. Gametime Friday night is 7:05pm and can be heard locally on KOPY 1070 AM as well as online.

Note: With the win Coastal Bend avoided setting the mark for most consecutive losses this season in the American Association. In a pre-game ceremony, baseball legend and former Cat Maury Wills was on hand to help permanently retire Jackie Robinson's number 42. This year marks the 60th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier.

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