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Morales Sweeps Away Shreveport

August 6, 2007 - American Association (AA) - Coastal Bend Aviators News Release

The Aviators are feelin' the Mo.

Sunday night, they won their second game this week in walkoff fashion when the man they call Mo, Stephen Morales, smoked a bases loaded double to center field with 2 out in the bottom of the ninth. The four run ninth inning gave the Aviators a 4-3 win and put the finishing touches on a four game sweep of the Shreveport Sports. It also inched Coastal Bend closer to division leader Fort Worth who lost Sunday night, 5-4 in extra innings.

The comeback was only the third time this season the Aviators have captured victory when trailing after seven innings. Aviator pitcher Derrick Van Dusen turned in a fine performance allowing 3 runs through eight innings while scattering 9 hits. But for the first eight innings Coastal Bend could not solve Shreveport starter Colby Miller. Miller allowed just 2 hits in the first eight frames and struck out six.

Then with one out in the ninth, James Lofton and Bryon Smith patiently worked walks to give the Aviators life. At that point Sports manager Bob Flori pulled Miller and brought in lefty reliever Brandon Hudson. He struck out Grant Richardson looking for out number two. Matt Spencer kept Coastal Bend's hopes alive when he hit a soft ground ball toward third that shortstop Wade Robinson gloved but had no play on. That brought Ryan Smith, the newest addition to the team, to the plate with the bases loaded.

Smith took a 3-1 pitch to right field that scored the first run of the night for the home team and Matt Clayman came on to relieve Hudson. With Steve Ketter in the on-deck circle, Aviators manager John Harris summoned Morales, his everyday catcher, from the bullpen. Morales hit the second pitch he saw from Clayman deep to center. Deacon Burns, playing at normal depth, raced back and to his right but could not make the catch as the ball went over his head and bounced to the warning track. Bryon Smith and Spencer scored easily on the play and Ryan Smith never slowed as he rounded third. The throw from the outfield was offline and Smith touched home to touch off another Aviator celebration.

An appreciative and boisterous crowd at Fairgrounds Field stood and cheered the team as they exchanged high fives on the infield and made their way back to the dugout.

Tim Haines, who pitched the ninth for Coastal Bend got the win and improves to 4-5. Hudson was tagged with the loss for Shreveport and falls to 1-2. The win is the seventh in the last eight contests for the Aviators, who are rapidly climbing the ladder in the American Association South Division standings. They are now just four games back in the loss column with twenty games to play. They'll welcome in the Pensacola Pelicans for a four game series starting on Tuesday evening at 6:05. The teams will play a doubleheader consisting of 2 seven inning games. Tuesday is also Corpus Christi community night, with complimentary tickets available at Valero gas stations and H-E-B grocery stores.

Tuesday night's games can be heard locally on KOPY 1070 AM as well as online.

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