SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) – Despite a late scare, the Shreveport-Bossier Captains beat the Grand Prairie AirHogs 5-4 on Sunday night, closing in on a playoff spot in front of 1,076 fans at Fair Grounds Field.
Leading 5-2, Captains closer Hector Carrasco allowed a one-out single to Robert Perry in the ninth inning, and then Juan Camacho homered on the first pitch to make it a one-run game – the first run that Carrasco has allowed with the Captains (26-16). But the veteran settled down, and got Joe Spiers and Ben Petralli on easy groundouts to seal his seventh save of the year and move the Captains one win away from the playoffs.
If Shreveport-Bossier beats Grand Prairie (21-21) in either of the next two nights, the Captains will clinch the first-half South Division title. If the AirHogs win both, then the Captains will need a combination of two wins or Grand Prairie losses in the two teams' final four games to clinch.
Bryan Sabatella got the offense going for the Captains with a leadoff single in the first against lefty Daniel Schmidt (1-1). Sabatella then stole second, but only was at third with two outs. Palmer Karr then bounced a single through the left side to give Shreveport-Bossier an early lead.
In the bottom of the third, Sabatella started another rally with a leadoff double, and scored after a bunt single by Jovanny Rosario and a sacrifice fly by Christopher Garcia. Glenn Wilson started the bottom of the fifth with a grounder through Camacho's legs at third, and after another hit by Sabatella, Rosario knocked in Wilson with a base hit up the middle. Then, as Garcia struck out on a 3-2 pitch, Sabatella and Rosario broke for second and third, and Petralli's throw to third sailed over Camacho's head for an error, letting Sabatella score to make it 4-0.
Ryan DiPietro (4-0) started very strongly for the Captains to get his fourth win in as many starts for Shreveport-Bossier. He retired the first eight hitters he faced before walking Chad Gabriel with two outs in the third. After a 1-2-3 fourth, DiPietro escaped a leadoff walk and single in the fifth with the help of an inning-ending double play. In the sixth, Gabriel singled, and after a sacrifice bunt, Aaron Garza homered to make it 4-2. The lefty then got around a hit and a walk in the seventh to finish his very solid outing.
Brian Peterson hit a sacrifice fly off Wade Morrison in the bottom of the sixth to re-extend the Captains lead to three, which proved to be a big run in the ninth.
Notes: Garcia went 0-for-3 with the sacrifice fly, the first time all season he did not reach base safely at least once…The Captains did not draw a walk in the game, the first time this season they have failed to do so, coming a night after drawing 11 walks against El Paso…Rodriguez made his first start of the season at third base, with Garcia at first for the second time and Wilson serving as the designated hitter.