Aviators Pull Out Extra Inning Comeback over Pelicans
If Coastal Bend ends up playing in the American Association's postseason, they may well point to a critical stretch of home games in the last week as the key victories that propelled them into the playoffs. Thursday night at Fairgrounds Field, the Aviators pulled off yet another eleventh hour comeback, this time rallying for two runs in the bottom of the twelfth to turn a 5-4 loss into a 6-5 win. It was the third late inning victory in their last four wins.
After trailing 4-1 through three innings, they erased the deficit with 2 in the fourth and 1 in the fifth. Meanwhile, Coastal Bend's pitchers managed to hold down the Pelican lineup for eight straight innings. But the Aviators couldn't score any more runs of their own and the game went to the twelfth tied at 4.
In the top of the frame, with Aviator closer Tom Atlee on the mound, Pensacola shortstop Ricardo Cordova, reached first on an error by his Aviator counterpart Ryan Smith. After two ground outs, Cordova stole third and scored on Bo Williams' single to right field to put the Pelicans in front 5-4.
When the Aviators came to bat in the bottom half, Pelicans reliever Chris Thompson entered the game. He hit the first man he faced, Will Lewis, and walked Ryan Smith to put two on with none out. With the top of the order due up the Aviators looked to play small ball, but lead off man Brian Fryer couldn't get a bunt down and popped out to the first baseman Williams. With just one out, Matt Spencer stepped in and ended the contest when he belted a double to deep center over the head of outfielder Chris Reynolds. Lewis scored easily and Smith came all the way around from first to beat he throw home and seal the victory.
Spencer finished the night 2 for 5 with a walk and run scored. Bryon Smith and Grant Richardson also had big nights for Coastal Bend. Smith launched his team-leading ninth homerun of the year in second inning while Richardson doubled in the fourth and singled in the fifth. Will Lewis continued his string of strong contributions with an RBI single, his seventh RBI in the last eight games.
The Pelicans offense was lead by Cordova who went 3 for 6 with an RBI and 2 runs scored.
The teams combined to use 11 pitchers with the Aviators using six. Kevin Lee started and lasted five innings, allowing four earned runs. The bullpen allowed no runs until the twelfth, and that run was unearned. Atlee left the game with an apparent injury after Williams' single during the twelfth, although the type and severity of the injury was not immediately known. Brian Martin came on and threw one pitch to retire the side. He was the winning pitcher, upping his mark to 2-0. Thompson was the loser for Pensacola, falling to 5-4.
The Aviators picked up a half game on idle Fort Worth and now stand 5 games out of first with 16 games remaining to be played. Coastal Bend will open a four game set at Shreveport tomorrow night with first pitch at 7:05pm. Probable starters are lefty Derrick Van Dusen (5-6, 4.43 ERA) for the Aviators and righty Matt Yeatman (6-5, 4.90) for the Sports. The game can be heard locally on KOPY 1070 AM and online at aviatorsbaseball.com.
• Discuss this story on the American Association message board...
American Association Stories from August 10, 2007
- Aviators Stumble, Lose Late in Shreveport - Coastal Bend Aviators
- American Association Recap - AA
- Sports Rally for Win Over Coastal Bend - Shreveport-Bossier Captains
- Old Friend Hurts Saints in 5-3 Loss - St. Paul Saints
- Three Homers Not Nearly Enough - Sioux Falls Canaries
- X's Vs. Canaries - Sioux City Explorers
- Saints Trade for Infileder and Sign Veteran White - St. Paul Saints
- Arroyo not enough in loss - Sioux Falls Canaries
- Aviators Pull Out Extra Inning Comeback over Pelicans - Coastal Bend Aviators
- Saints New Look Offense Silenced in 6-1 Loss - St. Paul Saints
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.