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Grand slam powers Colts to 8-5 win over Aviators

August 14, 2004 - Central Baseball League (Central League) - Coastal Bend Aviators News Release

ROBSTOWN, TX – Rookie right fielder Lee Laskowski belted a grand-slam homer – his first as a professional – and San Angelo used a five run 3rd inning to power their way past Coastal Bend 8-5 in front of a crowd of 2,264 Saturday night at Fairgrounds Field in Robstown…the Colts winning the series finale and taking three of four from the Aviators, who suffered a huge blow to their playoff hopes with their third straight defeat.

Coastal Bend grabbed the early lead by plating a pair off San Angelo starting pitcher Chad Johnson in the bottom of the 1st – Edwin Maldonado doubled to lead off the inning and went to third on a bunt by Marcus Knight. Greg Strickland followed with an RBI single and scored two batters laters when Colts catcher Andrew York committed an error trying to throw Mike Guerrero out at first on an in-the-dirt third strike. The Aviators still led 2-0 when San Angelo struck in the 3rd – Coastal Bend starter Matt Rohr hit Joe Mercer with a pitch to begin the inning…York then reached when Rohr bobbled a sacrifice bunt. Jorge Diaz followed with a bunt back to the mound, but Rohr’s throw to first sailed over Maldonado’s head and rolled down the right field line…Mercer scoring on the error. Tony James walked to load the bases and set the stage for Laskowski, who ripped the first Rohr offering over the left field fence – the grand slam putting San Angelo in front 5-2.

The Aviators pulled to within a run in the bottom of the 3rd – Knight walked and advanced to third on a single by Strickland…but when Laskowski’s throw from right field sailed past third base, Knight scored and Strickland advanced to second. With two outs, Eric Battersby delivered an RBI double to cut the Colts lead to one. But that was as close as Coastal Bend would get – San Angelo went up 8-4 with a three-run 5th inning – a bases-loaded RBI single by Bert Aguilar signaled the end of the night for Rohr…then Tyson Boston laced a two-run double off Aviators reliever Dan Henderson to give the Colts their biggest lead of the night. Johnson kept Coastal Bend in check, holding the Aviators scoreless over his last five innings…Coastal Bend was able to score a run and get the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the 9th against San Angelo reliever Jason Sena, but Trey Salinas grounded back to the mound to end it and give the Colts their eighth victory over the Aviators in 14 tries this season.

Johnson (6-10) struck out six in eight innings of work to earn the victory, with Rohr (1-2) taking the loss. Each team had seven hits on the night – Aguilar and Boston each went 2-for-4 to pace the Colts, while Battersby had the only multi-hit game for the Aviators with a double and a single. Saturday’s loss dropped Coastal Bend to 16-25 in the second half (40-49 overall) and two-and-a-half games back of idle Amarillo with just seven games left in the race for the West Division’s second playoff spot…San Angelo improved to 13-28 in the second half and 36-52 on the year. The Aviators are back in action Sunday, traveling to Edinburg for the front end of a two-game “home and home” series with the Roadrunners…game two is scheduled for Monday in Robstown.

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