Van Dusen Strikes Out 10 as Aviators Defeat Fort Worth
Derrick Van Dusen struck out 10 in 7.1 innings, allowing 2 earned runs as the Aviators downed Fort Worth 7-4 in the first game of a three game set. Coastal Bend had a big night offensively, racking up 17 hits and getting homeruns from designated hitter Bryon Smith, and center fielder Brian Fryer.
In the third inning, Fryer doubled down the line in left, advanced on a groundout, and scored on James Lofton's single through the left side for a 1-0 lead. In the fifth the Aviators gave Van Dusen some breathing room as Lofton singled to right, JD Foust singled to drive him in, and Smith homered to center for a 4-0 advantage. The fifth inning was the last for Cats starter Joel Kirsten who allowed 11 hits and took the loss to fall to 2-3.
Meanwhile, Van Dusen was cruising and did not allow a run until the eighth when an error and 3 singles scored 2 for Fort Worth and Van Dusen was lifted with the bases loaded. Matt Wilkinson came on to finish the seventh as Fort Worth scored on a single and sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 5-4.
The Aviators quickly responded in the bottom of the inning, scoring twice off Fort Worth reliever Bryant Beaver. Fryer homered to left field, his third of the year. Spencer singled, Lofton walked, and Smith singled to right to push the lead to 7-4.
Jonathan Hunton came on to pitch scoreless ninth and earn his first save of the year. With the win, Van Dusen improves to 5-3. Coastal Bend is now 4.5 games out of first and will send veteran lefty Pedro Flores to mound tomorrow for game two of this series against Fort Worth. First pitch at Fairgrounds Field is 7:05pm and be heard locally on KOPY 1070 AM or online at aviatorsbaseball.com
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