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Aviators Rally Late, Stun Diablos 10-9

June 17, 2007 - American Association (AA) - Coastal Bend Aviators News Release

Saturday the Aviators reversed a trend in beating El Paso for the first time in their last nine tries. Sunday they beat the odds and came back from a two run deficit in the ninth to win 10-9 and earn a split of the four game series with the Diablos.

Entering the game Coastal Bend was 0-19 on the season when trailing after seven innings and El Paso was 20-0 when leading after seven. Trailing 9-7 in the ninth and facing Diablos closer Ned Darley , the Aviators loaded the bases with none out on singles by JD Foust and Bryon Smith and a walk to Juan Figueroa. Grant Richardson reached on an error by Darley to make the score 9-8 and with the bases still loaded Steve Ketter drew a walk to tie it at 9. Will Lewis' sacrifice fly drove in Figueroa and the Aviators led for the first time all night 10-9. That brought on Coastal Bend's closer Tom Atlee who allowed a single to the first batter he faced. He retired the next two men and struck out pinch hitter Juan Camacho to end the game and earn his 6th save of the year.

After two innings the Aviators trailed 4-0 against El Paso's Greg Wiltshire, the pitcher with the second most wins in the league. But in the top of the third they would pull within a run thanks to RBI singles by Matt Spencer and James Lofton along with a RBI groundout by Bryon Smith. El Paso responded in the home half of the third by scoring four more off starter JR Pickens, highlighted by Evan Conley's first homerun of the year, a 3 run blast that made the score 8-3 El Paso.

Coastal Bend then began to chip away, using singles by Grant Richardson and Will Lewis along with Bryan Fryer's sacrifice fly to score a run in the fourth. Pickens came back out for the bottom of the fourth and righted the ship. He would not allow another run to score as he completed seven innings of work.

JD Foust and Bryon Smith lead of the top of the fifth with singles before Juan Figueroa put a ball in play down the right field line and pulled into second with a double. Foust scored leaving runners at second and third for Richardson who singled to right center driving in Smith and Figueroa to inch the Aviators closer at 8-7.

With Miguel Martinez on in relief of Pickens the Diablos extended their lead to 9-7 after eight innings had been played. That set the stage for the 3 run ninth and the first comeback of the year for Coastal Bend.

With the win, the Aviators move back to within 5.5 games of El Paso and improve to 16-20 on the season. They return home to open a 3 game series with the Fort Worth Cats on Tuesday night. First pitch at Fairgrounds Field is 7:05pm. Tickets available by calling 361-387-8585 or online at the game can be heard locally on KOPY 1070 AM or online.

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