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Edinburg hangs on to top Aviators, 4-3

August 17, 2004 - Central Baseball League (Central League) - Coastal Bend Aviators News Release

ROBSTOWN, TX – For the 12th time in 13 meetings this season, the Edinburg Roadrunners downed Coastal Bend…but Monday’s 4-3 loss to the Roadrunners at Fairgrounds Field in Robstown meant that the Aviators not only suffered their fifth straight defeat but also lost even more precious ground to Amarillo in the race for the West Division’s final playoff spot.

Coastal Bend opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the 1st off Edinburg starter Pedro Flores – Edwin Maldonado led off with a single, went to second on an Eric Battersby walk, was sacrificed to third and came home on a Mike Guerrero sacrifice fly. Aviators starter Lavelle Morgan worked out of a couple of early-inning jams to keep the Roadrunners off the scoreboard through the first five frames, striking out eight. The Aviators 1-0 lead stood until the 6th when Edinburg plated a pair – with two on and two out, Morgan issued back-to-back walks to Neesan Zieour and Aaron Mendoza to force home the tying run…then Eric Gonzalez’ infield single drove in Vince Moore to put the Roadrunners up 2-1.

Shaun Argento’s RBI double off Coastal Bend reliever Augustin Marquetti knocked in Ryan Lehr in the 7th to make it a 3-1 game…then in the 8th a Carlos Castillo throwing error was cashed in when Mendoza scored on consecutive singles by Gonzalez and Ryan Webb. Now down 4-1, the Aviators battled back in the bottom of the 8th – with Flores still on the mound for the Roadrunners, Trey Salinas led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on an Andrew Kasperek single…when Zieour bobbled the ball in left field, Salinas scored on the error to cut the Edinburg lead to two. Marcus Knight promptly doubled home Kasperek to make the score 4-3…but with Knight at third with one out, the Aviators failed to get the tying run home as Roadrunners reliever Luis Ramirez struck out Larry Van Allen and pinch-hitter Greg Strickland to end the threat. Coastal Bend once again got the potential tying run in scoring position in the bottom of the 9th, but Roadrunners closer Steve Wilkerson came on to get Salinas to ground out to end the game and preserve Edinburg’s one-run victory.

Flores (10-5) went seven-and-two-thirds innings to pick up the win with Wilkerson recording his Central Baseball League-high 14th save…Morgan (5-9) finished with 10 strikeouts in six-and-two-thirds innings but was burned for the loss. Lehr went 3-for-5 to pace the Roadrunners 10-hit attack…Kasperek collected three of the Aviators eight hits on the night. Monday’s loss dropped Coastal Bend to 16-27 in the second half (40-51 overall) and four-and-a-half games back of Amarillo with just five to play (the Dillas beat San Angelo 3-2 to reduce their magic number for clinching the West’s final post-season berth to two)…Edinburg improved to 32-12 in the second half and 65-26 on the year. The Aviators take Tuesday off before opening up a five-game series at home with a Wednesday doubleheader against the Amarillo Dillas.

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