PENSACOLA, Fla. - Shreveport-Bossier Captains lefty Ryan DiPietro gave up two hits in each of his first and last innings on Monday night. In between he was nearly perfect, tossing a complete-game five-hitter to beat the Pensacola Pelicans 6-1 at Pelican Park, snapping the Pels' league-record 15-game winning streak.
Shreveport-Bossier (36-25, 7-7 2nd half) started things fairly quickly against Dane De Valk (5-5), who lost for the first time in eight starts. With one out in the first, Brian Peterson doubled, and he came around to score on Jorge Alvarez's sun-aided double that got over the head of temporarily blinded leftfielder Marcos Rodriguez.
DiPietro (6-1), though, did run into trouble in his first inning. Chase Porch started it with a grounder off of DiPietro's glove and beat the throw for an infield single. Then, with two outs, John Alonso drove the ball off the rightfield wall. Jeff Hulett elected to throw to second, and his throw nearly beat Alonso, but the Pelicans' DH was called safe. Meanwhile, Porch raced around to score - where a throw to the plate could have resulted in a close play.
After that, though, DiPietro was once again dominant for the second straight start. He retired 12 straight hitters until Dallas Christison reached on an error with two outs in the fifth, and then retired seven in a row until a leadoff walk in the eighth. The lefty pitched around that free pass and a Kyle Brown single in that inning, and headed to the ninth with the five-run lead.
The Captains had retaken the advantage for good in the third on a sacrifice fly by Alvarez, and then got three more in the fifth on a double by Andres Rodriguez and a two-run homer by Uriak Marquez. Shreveport-Bossier added one more in the eighth on a Peterson RBI hit.
DiPietro struck out Javier Brito and got Alonso to fly out to deep center to start the bottom of the ninth, but Lou Palmisano and Adolfo Gonzalez singled to get the Captains bullpen active. But DiPietro found one last reserve, and got a called strike three on Marcos Rodriguez on his 116th and final pitch of the night to earn the complete game, the second of his career and of the season for the Captains.
Notes: All nine Captains had at least one hit…Outfielder Bryan Sabatella (hamstring) and shortstop Bryan Frichter (knee) both did not make the trip with the Captains after suffering injuries in the doubleheader split against Fort Worth on Saturday. They are still undergoing tests to determine the severity of their respective injuries…Pensacola (33-29, 13-1) beat DiPietro and the Captains in their last meeting thanks to a complete game by David Nathanson…After the first inning, no Pelican reached third base…Pensacola snapped the Captains' season-high (and the second-best in the league after Pensacola's) nine-game winning streak in mid-June.
The Shreveport-Bossier Captains continue their three-game series against the Pensacola Pelicans at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, July 20. The Captains return home for a four-game series against the Grand Prairie AirHogs on Thursday, July 22, at 7:05 p.m. It will be 99X Thirsty Thursday, with discounted beverages and a chance to win the Captains' Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce Shirts off our Backs that night. It is also Shreveport Chamber of Commerce Night, with discounted tickets available for chamber members. 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)