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Aviators Grounded by Diablos, 6-2

August 18, 2007 - American Association (AA) - Coastal Bend Aviators News Release

El Paso jumped out in front early and never looked back in a 6-2 win over the Aviators.

The contest, which was to feature a fireworks display after the game, had plenty of fireworks on the field as well. Aviators manager John Harris was ejected in the second inning, apparently for arguing balls and strikes, after El Paso's J.D. Reininger gave the Diablos a 2-0 with a solo homerun. Earlier in the at-bat Coastal Bend starter TJ Hendricks thought he'd thrown strike three but did not get the call. Harris went out to the mound and made sure to wait for the umpire to come out to breakup the conversation before expressing his displeasure with the strike zone. Aviator pitchers Derrick Van Dusen and Kevin Lee were ejected as well.

Coastal Bend cut the lead to 2-1 when DH James Lofton doubled home Chase Gerdes who'd reached on a single.

Reininger homered again in the fourth, and the Diablos used three hits, a sacrifice fly, and an Aviator error to score two more. Tempers flared again in the ninth when Aviator closer Tom Atlee's pitch hit the handle of El Paso second baseman Evan Conley's bat. Conley believed he was hit in the hand and argued he should have been awarded first base. El Paso manager Butch Henry came out of the dugout to argue. The umpiring crew huddled up and talked it over before upholding the call and instructing Conley to step back in to the batter's box. At that point it appeared one or more Diablo players or coaches were ejected from the game. Atlee then proceeded to strike Conley out.

But the ninth innings was like the previous four before it. The Aviators went down in order to end it. In their last five turns at bat, they scattered a mere three hits.

Game three of the series is tomorrow night at 7:05. It is also the final home game of the season for Coastal Bend. The game can be heard locally on KOPY 1070 AM and online.

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