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Persails pitches Aviators to 3-1 win over Sports

August 8, 2004 - Central Baseball League (Central League) - Coastal Bend Aviators News Release

ROBSTOWN, TX – Righthander Mark Persails, signed last week by Coastal Bend and making his third start for the Aviators in eight days, held Shreveport to just a run on five hits in eight-and-a-third innings, and with relief help from Dan Henderson led Coastal Bend to a 3-1 victory over the Sports in front of a paid crowd of 2,008 at Fairgrounds Field in Robstown, Texas.

Persails was on his game early, not allowing a hit through the first four innings while striking out five…the Aviators staked him to an early 1-0 when Greg Strickland walked to lead off the 1st inning, stole second and scored on a two-out single by Trey Salinas. Shreveport knotted up the contest in the 5th when newly-acquired Juan Rocha led off the inning with a single, went to second on a wild pitch and came home on a double by Jorge Alvarez.

The score stayed 1-1 until the bottom of the 7th when Coastal Bend took the lead for good – with one out, Mike Guerrero tripled into the right field corner, and Eric Battersby followed with a home run that barely cleared the left field wall…Battersby’s sixth big fly of the year putting the Aviators back on top 3-1. Persails tossed a scoreless 8th inning and got the first out in the 9th before Shreveport’s Derek Henderson singled to left. Coastal Bend manager Glenn Wilson brought Henderson in from the bullpen to face Alvarez, the potential tying run. The game was over five pitches later, as Henderson induced Alvarez to ground into a game-ending double play to beat the Sports for just the fourth time in 13 tries this year and put a halt to the Aviators two-game losing streak.

Persails (1-2 with the Aviators, 5-7 overall) finished the game with nine strikeouts en route to the win; Sports starter Josh Gold (8-6) went the distance but suffered the hard-luck loss. Coastal Bend has just six hits on the night, with Salinas going 2-for-3. Saturday’s win improved the Aviators second half record to 13-22 (37-46 overall), and with Amarillo’s 5-2 loss to Pensacola, moved to within five games of the Dillas in the race for the West Division’s second playoff spot…Shreveport slipped to 16-19 in the second half and 43-39 on the year. Game three of the series is set for Sunday, with righthander Jose Luis Lopez (9-4) on the mound for the Aviators…the sports will counter with righty Ira Brown (2-1).

After 18 of their last 20 games on the road, the Coastal Bend Aviators hoped to get well on some home cooking as they opened up a four-games series Friday against Shreveport at Fairgrounds Field in Robstown, Texas…but it was not to be. The visiting Sports pounded out 14 hits on the way to an 8-3 victory, handing the Aviators their second straight loss and 15th in the last 17 games.

Shreveport scored in the 1st inning off Coastal Bend starter Lavelle Morgan on base hits by Tony Schifano and Michael Hicks and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Jorge Alvarez. In the 2nd back-to-back doubles by Adam Thompson and Chris Hall put the Sports up 2-0, but Trey Salinas sliced the lead in half in the bottom of the 2nd, bombing a solo homer off Shreveport starter Ian Doiron. Shreveport went up 3-1 in the 4th – Thompson leading off the inning with a double and scoring on Hall’s RBI single to center – then ballooned the lead to four with a pair of runs off Aviators reliever Kevin Seibert in the 6th. Ex-Aviator Bryan Loeb tripled with one out and came home on Bobby Gilliam’s double down the right field line; Gilliam then stole third and scored when Salinas’ throw sailed into left field…the miscue giving the Sports a 5-1 advantage.

Alvarez socked a solo homer in the 7th off newly-signed Aviators reliever Josh Stout to up the lead to 6-1…but the Aviators would come back to plate single runs in the 7th (Noah Peery tripled in his first professional at-bat and came home on an RBI groundout by Andrew Kasperek) and 8th (Eric Battersby’s sacrifice fly plating Larry Van Hall) to cut the deficit to three. But Shreveport answered with two unearned runs off Coastal Bend reliever Augustin Marquetti in the top of the 9th to push the lead to 8-3…Sports closer Carl Makowsky then came on to record the final three outs and give Shreveport its ninth win over the Aviators in 12 tries this season.

Doiron (4-4) allowed just one hit through the first five innings to pick up the win, with Morgan (4-8) suffering the loss. Loeb led the Sports offense with three hits and two RBI’s…Hall also had three hits and knocked in a pair to improve Shreveport’s second half record to 16-18 and overall mark to 43-38…Coastal Bend dropped to 12-22 in the second half (and fell six full games behind Amarillo in the race for the West Division’s second playoff spot) and 36-46 on the year. Game two of the series is set for Saturday, with righthander Mark Persails (0-2 with the Aviators, 4-7 overall) on the mound for Coastal Bend…Shreveport will counter with righty Josh Gold (8-5).

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