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Blacksnakes Nip Aviators 6-5

June 4, 2007 - American Association (AA) - Coastal Bend Aviators News Release

The Coastal Bend Aviators built a 5-2 lead against the Saint Joseph Blacksnakes Monday night but couldn't hold it as St Joe answered the Aviators 3-run top of the fifth with a 4-run outburst in the bottom half off Derrick Van Dusen.

With the game tied at 2, Van Dusen was staked to the 3 run advantage when Ryan Rachal singled to right and advanced to second on a passed ball. Brian Fryer's single and steal of second had runners at second and third.Phillip Grau got the third straight hit off St Joe starter Alec Sheppard to give Coastal Bend the lead 3-2 and leave men at the corners with none out. After a strikout, Grau stole second. Blacksnakes catcher Jacob Wallis' throw went into center field scoring Fryer and moving Grau to third. Juan Figueroa's double then scored Grau and Coastal Bend led 5-2.

But in the bottom half, the Blacksnakes got 5 hits off Van Dusen including a double by rightfielder Curt Miaso and a 2 RBI triple by second baseman Andy Wilson which scored shortshop Casey Gordon and centerfielder David Fowler who had both singled.

The game then became a battle of bullpens. Neither team blinked with Miguel Martinez and Jonathan Hunton combining to pitch 3 innings without surrendering a hit. St. Joe countered with reliever Vinney DeChristafaro, who went 1.2 innings before closer Tim Vasquez came on to earn his 3rd save of the season. The Aviators did not go quietly, putting runners at first and third in the ninth inning by way of a walk and a throwing error on Casey Gordon. But the comeback was not to be as Vasquez got a called third strike on Coastal Bend's Grant Richardson to end it.

With the win Sheppard goes to 3-1. Van Dusen falls to 3-2 with the loss The victory is just the sixth of the season for the Blacksnakes, improving their record to 6-18. Coastal Bend falls to 8-15. The teams play game 2 of a 4 game set tomorrow night at 7:05pm. In a battle of lefthanders, Pedro Flores will take the ball for the Aviators, opposed by St Joe's David Glick. The game can be heard locally on KOPY 1070 AM or online.

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