SHREVEPORT, La. - Shreveport-Bossier Captains lefty Ryan DiPietro was excellent Tuesday night, pitching eight innings of one-run baseball, allowing four hits and two walks, while his offense scored the final eight runs of the game in the final four innings, as the Captains beat the El Paso Diablos 8-1 in front of 888 fans at Fair Grounds Field.
DiPietro (5-1) retired the first 10 men he faced, before Arnoldo Ponce singled on a pop-up 20 feet down the third-base line that landed in foul territory - when DiPietro, third baseman Bryan Cooksey and catcher Brian Peterson converged but appeared to either have lost the ball in the sky or had a miscommunication - but kicked back fair. He then set down the next three men before he walked Mike Provencher with one out in the fifth. One out later, Adam Deleo found the gap in left-center with a fly-ball double to give El Paso (20-34, 1-7 2nd half) the first lead of the game.
But back came the Captains (32-23, 3-5) in the bottom of the inning, after stranding several chances in the first four frames against Diablos starter Aaron Kalb (1-4). After Bryan Sabatella singled and was subsequently thrown out stealing on what appeared to be a missed sign by someone, Jovanny Rosario hit the next pitch to deep right-center. Centerfielder Jonathan Reynoso couldn't catch up to the ball, and crashed into the wall, as Rosario flew around the bases for an inside-the-park home run, his first homer of the year.
An inning later, Jorge Alvarez and Andres Rodriguez singled, and Bryan Frichter sacrificed them over to second and third. El Paso elected to intentionally walk Uriak Marquez, bringing up Peterson with the bases loaded. After throwing the first two pitches for called strikes, catcher Benji Johnson went out to talk to Kalb. After the visit, working from the full windup, Kalb plunked Peterson on the very next pitch to force in a run and give Shreveport-Bossier the lead for good.
Cooksey added a sacrifice fly to make it 3-1 and chase Kalb from the game, and the Captains tacked on one more when Alvarez hit his second home run of the year in the seventh. Then, Shreveport-Bossier blew it open in the eighth, when reliever Patrick Lawler threw wildly to first on a slow two-out chopper by Cooksey that ended up scoring Marquez from third. A walk and two hits later, the Captains led by seven.
Rookie Mark Haynes pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to seal the win for the Captains, striking out Provencher to end the game.
Notes: The 73 batters in the game combined for 54 foul balls that were not outs…Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to 19 games…DiPietro had a season high in both strikeouts and innings pitched…Four Captains (Rosario, Christopher Garcia, Alvarez and Rodriguez) had multi-hit games.
The Shreveport-Bossier Captains continue their three-games against the El Paso Diablos at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday, July 14, at 7:05 p.m. for Willis Knighton Wednesday, where all kids 12 and under get a free meal with a paid ticket to the game. It is also Bark at the Park, where all dogs on leashes are invited to Fair Grounds Field at no additional cost. All games are broadcast on ESPN Radio, KRMD-1340 AM as well as streaming live on supertalk1340.com. For information on tickets, promotions, advertising, and other opportunities with the Captains, check out the team's Web site at www.sbcaptains.com, or call the Fair Grounds Field office at (318) 636-5555.
(Courtesy: Shreveport-Bossier Captains)