Aviators Sweep Pensacola 8-4
Derrick Van Dusen went seven and a third innings and Coastal Bend scored 4 runs in the fifth to complete a three game sweep of Pensacola with an 8-4 victory.
It was the first road sweep of the year for the Aviators and the second sweep of an opponent in the last two weeks.
Will Lewis had a superb night at the plate and in the field. He belted his fifth homerun of the year to break a 2-2 tie in the second inning and helped the Aviators escape a bases loaded situation in the bottom of the eighth by turning a difficult double play. Lewis finished 2 for 5 with 3 batted in.
The Aviators offense put up 14 hits including 3 by rookie Chase Gerdes who had a breakout game for Coastal Bend. Phillip Grau made a strong contribution as well going 2 for 5 with an RBI.
With the Aviators leading 4-3 in the fifth Pensacola starter Jesen Merle allowed 5 straight hits to the number 5-9 batters in the Aviators order, including a hit to pitcher TJ Hendricks who was hitting in the DH spot. His single was the last of the five consecutive registered by Ryan Smith, Phillip Grau (double), Gerdes, and Steve Ketter. That sequence meant the end of the line for Merle who left trailing 7-3. The Aviators added another run on Lewis' fielder's choice and the score was 8-3 Coastal Bend.
With a run home and the bases loaded in the home half of the eighth, Lewis snuffed out the Pensacola threat. With reliever Tim Haines facing his first batter, Lewis snagged a sharp grounder off the bat of Trino Aguilar that re-directed off the pitcher's mound. He tagged the runner headed for second and threw on to first for the double play. Pensacola offense was led by the 2-3-4 hitters in their line up who combined for 8 of the Pelicans 11 hits.
Van Dusen earned the win to improve to 6-6 on the year while Haines picked up his first save. Merle fell to 3-6 with the loss. With the win the Aviators improve to 17-19 in the second half and are still mathematically alive in the south division playoff race. They return home tonight and will open a 3 game series, the final home stand of the year, against El Paso Friday night at 7:05pm. The game can be heard locally on KOPY 1070 AM and online.
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American Association Stories from August 16, 2007
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