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Three Hits For Avila, Three RBI for Noris

GCL Pirates� 5,� GCL Tigers� 3 (box)

3B Eric Avila collected 3 hits, a double and two singles, to lead the Pirates in their 11-hit game against the Tigers this afternoon.� Avila began the game with a single, and moved to second base on rehabbing RF Wes Freeman’s single.� CF Gregory Polanco brought in Avila with another single, to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.

The Tigers tied it up in the bottom of the 4th, wiht a double, two wild pitches by starter Jarryd Sullivan, and an RBI single.� The Pirates came right back in the top of the 5th with 2 more runs.� 2B Luis Solano led off with a single and stole second base.� He went to third on a ground out, and scored on Avila’s double.� Another single by Freeman brought in Avila.� Then the Tigers tied the score again in the bottom of the frame.� A fielding error, a single, an RBI ground out, and an RBI single brought in two unearned runs.� Sullivan pitched 5 innings, and only one of the 3 runs he allowed was earned.� He gave up 5 hits, no walks, and struck out one.

Three consecutive singles, by 1B/RF Daan Cornelissen, Solano, and C Joey Schoenfeld, brought in another Pirates’ run in the 6th to again give the Pirates the lead.� They added an insurance run in the 7th, when Polanco singled, stole second, stole third, and scored on Cornelissen’s sacrifice fly.

Kevin Kleis and Barrett Phillips each pitched 2 scoreless innings for the Pirates.� Kleis gave up a single and Phillips gave up a walk, and they each struck out 2 batters.� Phillips earned the save, and Sullivan earned the win.

West Virginia Power� 8,� Savannah Sand Gnats� 4 (box)

Four runs in the 1st inning got the Power off to a good start, and they never looked back.� CF Evan Chambers started the rally with a walk, but he was caught stealing.� 2B Jarek Cunningham and DH David Rubinstein both walked.� After a fly out, back-to-back singles by C Ramon Cabrera and LF Rogelios Noris each brought in a run.� 3B Jesus Brito doubled, scoring Cabrera and Noris, and the Power had a 4-0 lead.

Savannah scored a run in the 2nd on a walk and two singles, and another run in the 3rd on a single and a double, but the Power got those two runs back in the bottom of the 3rd.� RF Jose Hernandez and Cabrera singled, then Noris drove in both of them with a double, but he was out at third base when he tried to stretch it into a triple.� 1B Kyle Morgan added a run in the 4th when he walked, reached second base on a sacrifice bunt, advanced to third on a double play, and scored on Cunningham’s sacrifice fly.� Three consecutive singles in the 6th — Brito, Morgan, and SS Benji Gonzalez – gave the Power another insurance run.

Starter Kyle McPherson pitched just two innings, and allowed one run on 3 hits and a walk.� He was relieved by Mike Williams, who gave up another run on 3 hits in 4 innings of work, to earn the win.� Ryan Kelly pitched the final 3 innings.� He gave up a run in the 7th on a single, a ground out, and another single.� A fielding error and a double gave Savannah an unearned run in the 8th, but Kelly was still credited with a save, his 3rd of the season.

Akron Aeros� 4,� Altoona Curve� 2 (box)

Curve starter Jeff Locke pitched 6 strong innings but left the game with the score tied, and the Aeros rallied in the 8th inning for the win.� Locke pitched 5 innings and scattered 5 hits and 2 walks.� There were also two errors, and one of them, a catchers’ interference call in the 2nd inning, turned out to be a problem.� The batter reached on the interference, and two outs later, Locke’s only serious mistake went over the center field wall for a 2-run homer.

SS Chase d’Arnaud started the game with a triple, then scored on CF Gorkys Hernandez’s sacrifice bunt.� 2B Josh Harrison was hit by a pitch and 1B Matt Hague singled in that inning also, but did not come around to score.� The Curve had a single-and-walk combination in both the 3rd and 4th innings, but both times a double play cut short the beginnings of a rally.� They tied the score in the 6th, on a single by Hague and an RBI double by 3B Jordy Mercer.

Reliever Dustin Molleken pitched a perfect 7th inning in relief of Locke.� Ramon Aguero relieved Molleken to begin the bottom of the 8th.� Aguero got the first two outs, then gave up a triple and two walks to load the bases.� A single brought in the go-ahead run, and left the bases still loaded.� Then the third walk of the inning forced in an insurance run.� Corey Hamman replaced Aguero and finished the inning with a strikeout.

The Curve managed only a single by d’Arnaud and a walk by DH Brandon Jones over their last three innings.

The Curve remain in first place in the Western Division of the Eastern League.� However, this sweep by the third-place Aeros combined with three wins by second-place Bowie have cut the Curve’s lead to 5 games.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers� 6,� State College Spikes� 4 (box)

An 11-th inning rally gave the Scrappers 2 runs which the Spikes could not answer, and Mahoning Valley took the extra-inning win.� Each team posted one run in the 1st inning.� Starter Quinton Miller gave up a run to the Scrappers on a two-out single and double.� The Spikes got the run back on a double by CF Mel Rojas, a passed ball, and a sacrifice fly by 2B Gift Ngoepe. Miller allowed only two more hits over the next four innings.

The Spikes broke the tie in the bottom of the 5th when Rojas and Ngoepe teamed up again — a single by Rojas and a double by Ngoepe.� The Scrappers tied it up again in the top of the 6th, when Zack Dodson had relieved Miller.� With two outs, a single and a double brought in one run.� Dodson gave up two more runs in the 7th, on three singles and a hit batter, with an RBI ground out.� Casey Sadler relieved Dodson and pitched 2 scoreless innings, while the Spikes went down in order in the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings.

In the bottom of the 9th, the Spikes tied the score again, as they worked around the rain.� LF Adalberto Santos led off by reaching base on a fielding error at short.� 1B Matt Curry walked, and a wild pitch advanced both runners one base.� At that point, play was halted due to the rain.� About a half hour later, the same Scrappers pitcher returned to the mound — and threw another wild pitch, which allowed Santos to score.� Then he walked DH Chase Lyles, and SS Walker Gourley dropped down a sacrifice bunt to bring in Curry with the tying run.

Both teams went down in order in the 10th, but the Scrappers started the 11th with a double.� A sacrifice bunt moved that runner to third base, and the go-ahead run scored on a fielder’s choice.� A hit batter and an RBI single gave the Scrappers an insurance run.� The Spikes put two runners on base in the bottom of the 11th, on a single by Santos and Curry reaching on an error, but a double play ended the threat and the game.

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Nancy Zinni

Nancy grew up in Rochester, NY, where her father indoctrinated her to the love of baseball as a small child. He taught her to keep score at the age of 5, and she hasn't stopped since. She now lives in the Indianapolis area with her husband and two sons. Nancy has followed the Indians on both the Most Valuable Network and the Bloguin group, before joining Pirates Prospects in 2011. She provides daily game recaps from Indianapolis, plus player analysis from the guys she sees live at the games.

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