Aviators Win Third Straight Over Shreveport 6-5
The Aviators have found their cruising altitude. After enduring an up and down campaign through much of the season, things seem to be coming together. Saturday night, Coastal Bend's lineup delivered a balanced attack and their pitching staff quieted a late rally by Shreveport to win their sixth game in seven tries, 6-5.
James Lofton provided an early spark with a single to left field in his first at bat. After he advanced to second on a groundout, Lofton scored on Grant Richardson's single to right for a 1-0 lead. Stephen Morales kept the momentum going with a base hit to right and Richardson came around to make it 2-0. Lofton made the lead 3-0 in the third when he singled, stole second, advanced to third on an error, and scored on Richardson's sacrifice fly to right.
Pitcher Kevin Lee made his first start of the season since being added to the Coastal Bend roster in the last week. After allowing just one run on six hits through four innings, he ran into trouble in the fifth. He allowed singles to the first two batters of the frame before getting a pop out and strikeout. But he walked DH Chad Gambill to load the bases and then surrendered a single to center off the bat of JP Schmidt which scored 2 and tied the game 3-3.
The Aviators came right back however and scored three of their own in the home half of the fifth. Bryon Smith doubled and scored on a single by Morales. Matt Spencer singled to put two aboard for Will Lewis. The Aviators second baseman, who has seemingly hit every ball hard in the last week, crushed a double to left field that nearly left the yard. Morales and Spencer came home and Coastal Bend led 6-3.
Shreveport rallied for two runs off reliever Tim Haines in the eighth but Jonathan Hunton came in to pick up his teammate and squelch the comeback attempt by getting Justin Humphries to ground out and retire the side.
Hunton stayed in for the ninth, allowed no hits, and earned his second save of the year.
With the win, Coastal Bend now moves into third place in the American Association's South Division with a mark of 11-14. They'll go for a sweep of the four game set tomorrow night at 7:05pm. The game can be heard locally on KOPY 1070 AM and online.
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