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Van Dusen, Morales Lead Aviators to 2-1 Victory

June 10, 2007 - American Association (AA) - Coastal Bend Aviators News Release

Coastal Bend got another great outing from starting pitcher Derrick Van Dusen and Stephen Morales homered to break a scoreless tie as the Aviators defeated the Sioux City Explorers 2-1.

The second game of the three game series between the teams looked a lot like the first one, with each team's starter pitching well in a low scoring affair. In Friday night's game one, Sioux City took a 1-0 lead into the seventh and tacked on 2 more for the 3-0 victory. Saturday night it was Coastal Bend scoring late and adding an insurance run.

Van Dusen went seven innings and allowed just 1 hit while striking out 8. He did walk four batters which led to a two on and one out situation in the bottom of the sixth. But he retired the next two batters on a fly out and ground out to hold Sioux City scoreless.

Offensively the Aviators were frustrated throughout the night by their inability to score off Explorers starter Ty Marotz. Coastal Bend registered lead off hits in each of the first five innings but could not push a run across.

After Van Dusen worked out of trouble in the sixth, Grant Richardson led off with a deep fly ball to straight away center that was caught by Sioux City's Jason Tuttle who tumbled backwards onto the warning track as he made the catch. Aviators catcher Stephen Morales then stepped in and crushed the first pitch he saw over the left field wall for a 1-0 lead. It was just the seventh homer of the year for Coastal Bend. Marotz came back out for the seventh and walked leadoff man Brian Fryer before surrendering a hit to James Lofton at which point Explorers manager Ed Nottle went to his bullpen. With runners at second and third with none out, reliever Jon Koch came in and retired 2 men before Bryon Smith singled to score James Lofton from third and give Coastal Bend a 2-1 lead.

In the ninth Tom Atlee came on to close. He fanned cleanup hitter Jorge Moreno but walked the next two batters before facing second baseman Alex Llanos. On a full count pitch, Llanos singled home Jake Daubert and advanced Dustin Jones to third with just one out. But Atlee got a ground ball to shortstop from right fielder Pete Pirman and the Aviators turned the 6-4-3 double play to end the ballgame. With that, Atlee had his fourth save of the year and Van Dusen's record improved to 4-2. Marotz is now 2-3.

Besides Morales' homerun, offensive highlights for the Aviators included Bryon Smith's 2 hits and RBI along with Brian Fryer's 2 doubles.

With the win, Coastal Bend improves to 12-16. Sioux City drops to 9-20. Game three between the teams is Sunday at 5:05 pm. Lefty Pedro Flores (2-2, 3.63 ERA) will go for the Aviators against righty Brad Guy (0-4, 4.08 ERA). The game can be heard locally on KOPY 1070 AM and online.

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