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Rochester sweeps twinbill

by Ed Gonser
April 24, 2003 - International League (IL)

Syracuse -- We've all heard of the Sears Tower. In Syracuse the Sears Tower would be a welcome site instead of two Todd Sears towering home runs Thursday at P&C Stadium.

Sears hit two three-run home runs, one in each game of a doubleheader, that helped the Rochester Red Wings sweep the Syracuse SkyChiefs 7-3 and 13-4.

Syracuse (5-10) had forged a three-run lead in the nightcap thanks to a second inning two-run home run by Jimmy Alvarez.

Sears and the rest of the Red Wings answered with a five-run third, that included Sear's second three-run shot of the night and a six-run seventh inning that had 11 Rochester batters face three Syracuse pitchers.

"In the past few games we haven't scored too many runs," Sears said. "That huge inning in the second game was good for all of us."

In the two games Sears was 4-7 with seven RBIs with both home runs going deep over the right field fence.

"I've been kind of scuffling the past few games trying to figure things out," Sears said. "Tonight I tried to relax a little bit. I changed one bit of my mechanics, I moved my hands a little bit and it worked."

Jeromy Palki (1-1) earned the win in the second game and Doug Linton (0-1) took the loss for Syracuse.

In the opening game, Sears crushed his first homer of the year, a blast to right field in the Red Wings' seventh off Syracuse reliever Scott Wiggins that blew open a close one-run ballgame.

Rochester (9-9) had jumped out to a four-run lead with a pair of runs in the first inning including a solo blast to right by Michael Restovich. In the second inning, Rochester added another pair of runs including what proved to be the game winner when Gabby Torres scored on a wild pitch by Syracuse starter Josh Towers (1-2).

Rochester starter Carlos Pulido (3-1) earned the win in five innings of work despite surrendering solo homers to Howie Clark in the second and Reed Johnson in the fifth that cut the Rochester lead to one..

Pulido had five strike outs and did not walk a batter. Pulido has not allowed a walk in his last 22 innings on the mound. Micheal Nakamura earned the save.

Syracuse is mired in the longest losing streak since the 1998 season. The SkyChiefs have dropped their last nine. "Just about every team goes through this during a season and it's tough," Sears said of the SkyChiefs' doldrums. "Its frustrating, but you have to battle through it. You have to try and do the best you can regardless of the situation. A lot of teams go through it and all you can do is keep battling."

Syracuse will be able to battle and maybe vent a little revenge on these same Red Wings Friday at Frontier Field in Rochester as the teams play another doubleheader. "Tomorrow is a new day," Sears said. "Anything can happen and that's the way you have to look at it. It wouldn't have mattered if we beat them 30-1, tomorrow is a new day and (SkyChiefs) can do the same thing we did today, tomorrow. You never know."

An interesting note to the doubleheader was the appearance by three pitchers from Australia. Nakamura and Grant Balfour for Rochester and Syracuse infielder Glenn Williams, who made his pitching debut in the second game's seventh inning. "It was funny to watch," Balfour said. "I've seen (Glenn Williams) pitch before in Australia. He's got good stuff."

Balfour didn't have to face Williams down under as they were both on the same team in Melbourne along with Brad Thomas. The trio did have to face Nakamura as the 26 year old born in Japan but raised in Gully, Australia played in the same league but for another team.

Australian born players are starting to make an impact on America's game. "We're heavily scouted," Balfour said. "We've done well and it has opened it up for the younger kids coming through. There are 60 or so guys over here playing now. They're doing all right, making a name for themselves."

"It's not so strange seeing (Rochester) alone has three (Australian) Pitchers but hopefully we can do it (three Australian pitchers) in the majors that would be nice."


Game One

Red Wings first--Josh Towers pitching. Lew Ford ground out to third. Luis Rodriguez groundout to second. Michael Restovich clobbers first pitch over right field fence, solo home run. Todd Sears walked. Michael Ryan singled to left. Sears to second. Jeff Deardorff singled to left. Sears scored. Ryan to third. David Lamb groundout to first. Rochester 2, Syracuse 0.

Red Wings second--Josh Towers pitching. Shane Andrews doubled to left. Gabby Torres singled to center. Andrews to third. Ford hit by pitch. Torres to second. Rodriguez hit into double play. Ford out at second. Andrews scored. Torres to third. Torres scored on a wild pitch. Restovich walked. Sears groundout to short. Rochester 4, Syracuse 0.

SkyChiefs second--Carlos Pulido pitching. Bruce Aven groundout to third. Howie Clark launched a 0-1 pitch over the right field fence, solo home run. Kevin Cash groundout to third. Mike Colangelo flied out to right. Rochester 4, Syracuse 1.

SkyChiefs third--Carlos Pulido pitching. Shawn Fagan singled to center. Mike Moriarty reached on a two-base error by Andrews. Fagan to third. Moriarty to second. Reed Johnson hit sacrifice fly to left. Fagan scored. Dewayne Wise hit infield single to third. Moriarty to third. Tony Zuniga struck out swinging. Aven hit a fielders choice to short. Wise out at second. Rochester 4, Syracuse 2.

SkyChiefs fifth--Carlos Pulido pitching. Johnson skied a solo home run on a 1-1 pitch deep into the bullpen behind the left field fence. Wise struck out swinging. Zuniga groundout to short. Aven groundout to third. Rochester 4, Syracuse 3.

Red Wings seventh--Scott Wiggins pitching. Ford doubled to left.. Rodriguez sacrifice bunt. Ford to third. Restovich intentional walk. Sears pounded home run to deep right. Ford and Restovich scored. Ryan reached on a two-base error by Zuniga. Ryan to second. Deardorff groundout to short. Lamb groundout to second. Rochester 7, Syracuse 3.

Game Two

Red Wings first--Doug Linton pitching. Ford flied out to left. Rodriguez doubled to the right field corner. Restovich struck out swinging. Todd Sears singled to center. Rodriguez scored. Ryan walked. On the walk, Sears was running on the pitch, Syracuse catcher Ken Huckaby threw to second and the ball went out into center field allowing Sears to advance to third on the error. Lamb flied out to left. Rochester 1, Syracuse 0.

SkyChiefs first--Mike Duvall pitching. Johnson doubled to the right field corner. Wise walked. Zuniga hit into a double play. Wise out at second. Johnson to third. Aven walked. Clark hit a bloop single to left. Johnson scored. Aven to second. Rob Ryan groundout to first. Rochester 1, Syracuse 1.

SkyChiefs second--Mike Duvall pitching. Huckaby flied out to left. Fagan singled to center. Jimmy Alvarez homered to right. Fagan Scored. Johnson singled to right. Wise doubled to the gap in left-center field. Johnson scored. Zuniga flied out to left. Aven singled on a comebacker to the pitcher. Clark hit a fielders choice. Aven out at second. Syracuse 4, Rochester 1.

Red Wings third--Linton Pitching. Rodriguez walked. Restovich bunt single. Rodriguez to second. Sears cracked a three-run homer to right. Rodriguez and Restovich scored. Ryan groundout to short. Lamb doubled to the gap in right-center field. Kevin Connacher doubled down the left field line. Lamb scored. Brandon Marsters singled to right. Connacher scored. Dan Reichert pitching. Chad Green groundout to third. Ford flied out to left. Rochester 6, Syracuse 4.

Red Wings fifth--Reichert pitching. Lamb walked. Connacher sacrifice bunt. Lamb to second. Marsters singled to center. Lamb scored. Tim Young pitching. Marsters caught stealing. Green struck out looking. Rochester 7, Syracuse 4.

Red Wings seventh--Tim Young pitching. Ryan walked. Ryan to second on a wild pitch. Lamb walked. Scott Cassidy pitching. Connacher bunt for fielders choice. Ryan out at third. Marsters singled to left. Lamb to third.. Connacher to second. Green singled to right. Lamb and Connacher scored. Marsters to third. Ford doubled to the gap in left-center field. Marsters and Green scored. Rodriguez singled to center. Ford scored. Sears walked. Rodriguez to second. Ryan singled to center. Rodriguez scored. Sears to second. Glenn Williams pitching. Lamb flied out to left. Rochester 13, Syracuse 4.

The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central.

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International League Stories from April 24, 2003

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