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Aviators Sweep Doubleheader, Off to 3-0 Start

July 5, 2007 - American Association (AA) - Coastal Bend Aviators News Release

Kevin Hull struggled in his last two starts, pitching just 7.1 innings and allowing 14 earned runs. Thursday night he was back to his early season form, going 6.2 strong innings and striking out 6 batters as the Aviators won the first game of a doubleheader 2-0. The offense was lead by first baseman Grant Richardson who doubled down the left field line to score James Lofton for a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Leading off the fourth inning, Richardson belted his fifth homer of the year over the left field wall to give Hull some breathing room.

Hull found himself in a bases loaded jam in the sixth when he allowed singles to Canaries catcher Tim Marks and second baseman Damon Lessler before hitting Cameron Coughlin with a pitch. He escaped by getting designated hitter Will Smith to ground into a 3-6-1 double play to keep Sioux Falls off the scoreboard. Closer Tom Atlee came in to get the final out, retiring Marks on 1 pitch.

In game two, JR Pickens produced his second straight quality start, completing 5 innings while allowing just 2 runs as Coastal Bend took the night cap 5-2. The Canaries stuck first and took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the third when the Aviators used a walk and 4 straight singles to grab a 3-2 lead. They would add some insurance in their next at bat. Second baseman Will Lewis singled and new addition Travis Tully was hit by a pitch to bring Brian Fryer to the plate. Fryer singled to left field driving in one before Matt Spencer singled past the third baseman to score Tully and extend the lead to 5-2.

Newly elected All-Star Jonathan Hunton came on to pitch the sixth before Atlee earned his 11th save by closing out the ballgame with a scoreless seventh.

With the victories, Hull improves to 5-3, Pickens to 4-1. The Aviators are now 3-0 and occupy first place in the American Association South Division standings. They play a 3 game weekend series at Shreveport starting Friday night at 7:05. The game can be heard locally on KOPY 1070 AM and online at aviatorsbaseball.com.

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