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Aviators score three in eighth to beat Pelicans, 5-2

May 20, 2004 - Central Baseball League (Central League) - Coastal Bend Aviators News Release

ROBSTOWN, TX – Matt Mann’s fourth hit of the night knocked home the go-ahead run, then Mike Guerrero provided a two-run single for insurance as the Coastal Bend Aviators scored three runs in the bottom of the 8th inning to beat the Pensacola Pelicans 5-2 in front of 2,087 Wednesday night at Fairgrounds Field in Robstown. The win was Coastal Bend’s second straight over the visiting Pelicans and knotted up the season series between the two teams at three game apiece.

Mike Smith of the Aviators and Pensacola’s Santos Hernandez locked up in an entertaining pitcher’s duel that was marred but some sloppy fielding early in the contest. Coastal Bend got on the board in the 2nd when Pelicans outfielder Josey Shannon dropped Carlos Adolfo’s deep fly ball to left…Adolfo winding up at third on the error. A Trey Salinas groundout was enough to get Adolfo home and put the Aviators up 1-0. Smith made the lead stand up until the 5th, when Pensacola combined three singles, a sacrifice bunt and a two-base throwing error by Smith to plate a pair of runs and take a 2-1 lead.

After throwing a solid five innings, Hernandez handed the ball to Pelicans reliever Byron Batson…and Eric Battersby promptly tied up the ballgame, leading off the Aviators 6th by belting a line-drive homer that barely cleared the left field wall. The score was still tied when Pensacola put runners at first and second with nobody out in the 8th…but Rob Elias came out of the Coastal Bend bullpen and snuffed out the rally. That set the stage for the Aviators late-inning heroics – with two out and Bryan Loeb at first, Trey Salinas worked a walk from Batson, allowing the hot-hitting Mann to come to the plate. Matt shot a 3-2 pitch through the hole at short to drive home Loeb and give Coastal Bend a one-run advantage…then Guerrero followed with a base hit up the middle to drive home Salinas and Mann to make the score 5-2. Elias retired the Pelicans in order in the 9th to seal the Aviators fourth win in their last five games.

Elias (4-0) got the “W” for the second straight night, with Batson (0-2) taking the loss for Pensacola. Mann was a perfect 4-for-4 to pace the Aviators seven-hit attack…Shannon had three of the Pelicans eight hits on the evening. Wednesday’s win upped Coastal Bend’s record to 7-6 on the year and enabled the Aviators to pick up a game of the CBL’s West Division-leading Edinburg Roadrunners…Pensacola dropped to 4-9 on the season. The finale of the four-game and the homestand is scheduled for Thursday with righthander Jose Luis Lopez (1-0) on the mound for Coastal Bend…the Pelicans will start righty Jeff Robinson (0-2).

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