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Smith makes CBL history in 6-3 Aviators win

June 25, 2004 - Central Baseball League (Central League) - Coastal Bend Aviators News Release

Robstown, TX– Mike Smith became the winningest pitcher in Central League Baseball history Thursday night, allowing no earned runs in seven innings of work to lead the Coastal Bend Aviators to a 6-3 victory over the Amarillo Dillas in front of a crowd of 2,247 at Fairgrounds Field in Robstown.

The Aviators used the long ball to open the night’s scoring – Cris Colon connecting for a solo homer in the bottom of the 1st off Amarillo starting pitcher Jason Stockstill. In the 4th inning John Ramistella’s two-run single extended Coastal Bend’s lead to 3-0, but in the 5th the Dillas climbed back into the contest – Jeremy Todd scored when Colon bobbled a two-out grounder off the bat of Ben Tinius…then Carlos Figueroa singled home Dallas McMann to make the score 3-2.

Coastal Bend utilized a pair of Amarillo errors to plate two unearned run in the bottom of the 5th – with two out and runners at first and second, Marcus Knight’s infield pop-up was dropped by first baseman Dan Meier, allowing Francisco Lebron to score and Trey Salinas to move to third. With J.R. Cortez at the plate, Salinas suddenly broke for home and was quickly caught in a rundown…McMann, the Dillas catcher, dropped the ball making a barehanded tag, allowing Salinas to once more break for the plate…this time he slid in safely under the tag of Stockstill to push the Aviators advantage to 5-2. It stayed that way until the 8th inning when Figueroa scored from first on a Benny Craig base hit and a Ramistella error in left field to make the score 5-3. Coastal Bend then got a gift run in the bottom of the 8th…Mike Guerrero scoring from third on a wild pitch to give the Aviators lead to 6-3. Though Amarillo got the tying run to the plate in the 9th, Coastal Bend relievers Dan Henderson and Lavelle Morgan recorded the final three outs to lock down the Aviators second straight win and Smith’s record-setting 66th CBL victory.

Smith (6-3) struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter in posting his historical win, with Morgan notching his first save of the season…Stockstill (4-5) allowed five runs in five innings of work to take the loss. Lebron, Salinas and Ramistella each had two hits to pace the Aviators attack, while Figueroa, Todd and Asdrubal Oropeza combined for six of the Dillas 11 hits on the night. Thursday’s win put Coastal Bend (23-23) back at the .500 mark, while Amarillo (12-32) lost its 14th game in their last 16 outings. Game three of the series is slated for Friday night, with rookie lefthander Mike Garcia (0-0) on the mound for the Aviators…the Dillas are expected to counter with lefty Keith Ferguson (0-0).

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