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Aviators Win 14-9, Take Three of Four From Blacksnakes

June 8, 2007 - American Association (AA) - Coastal Bend Aviators News Release

Coastal Bend got a fine first outing from newly signed starting pitcher J.R. Pickens and put up 2 huge innings offensively to defeat the St Joe blacksnakes 14-9 in the final game of a four game set. The Aviators won the series three games to one and take a 3 game winning streak into Friday night's contest against the Sioux City Explorers.

Pickens went 5.2 innings allowing 5 runs, of which only 2 were earned, and struck out 4. Pickens was with Coastal Bend last season and was just resigned in the past week. With the victory he is now 1-0. He received tremendous offensive support from his teammates who scored 8 runs, all of them unearned, in the top of the second inning off Blacksnakes starter Andrew Edwards.

Bryon Smith's single to center got the inning going. With one out catcher Steve Ketter reached on an error by St. Joe second baseman Casey Gordon to put runners at the corners. With 2 out, Ryan Rachal was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Brian Fryer then singled to center scoring two. James Lofton walked to load the bases again and JD Foust singled to right, also scoring two.

With that 4-0 lead, the Aviators were just getting started. 2 more hits, including a double by Grant Richardson, combined with a passed ball and 2 more errors by St Joe had the scoreboard operator working overtime and an 8-0 score after just an inning and a half. All tolled the Aviators sent 13 men to the plate in the inning.

But St Joe, as they had done in the previous two games of the series, chipped away at the Aviators lead. They scored 1 in the fourth, 4 in the sixth, and 2 in the seventh to pull within 8-7. Determined to wrestle back the momentum, the Aviators responded in a big way by scoring 6 times in the eighth. A walk, 4 consecutive singles, and a triple by Richardson stretched Coastal Bend's lead back to 14-7 and effectively ended the game.

Pedro Flores pitched a scoreless ninth inning for Coastal Bend, just two days after pitching six innings as the starting pitcher in Tuesday's 6-5 victory. Richardson finished the game 4 for 5 with 4 RBI. Brian Fryer, JD Foust, Juan Figueroa, and Bryon Smith each had 2 runs batted in.

With the victory, Coastal Bend improves to 11-15. St Joe falls to a league worst 6-21. Tim Haines will take the ball Friday night for the Aviators in the opening game of a three game set at Sioux City, IA. First pitch is at 7:05pm and can be heard locally on KOPY 1070 AM as well as online.

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