07/11/04 — K-Tribe hooks Blue Rocks; falls to Warthogs

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K-Tribe hooks Blue Rocks; falls to Warthogs

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on July 11, 2004 2:00 AM

KINSTON -- Winston-Salem doubled up Kinston 4-2 in the first game of their three-game set Saturday evening at historic Grainger Stadium.

Additional details on the game were not available at press time.

Kinston hooks Blue Rocks

Kinston Indians were 0-28 when trailing after seven innings this season, but that all changed Friday night. With runners on second and third and two out in the eighth inning, Wilmington first baseman Adam Keim misplayed Dennis Malave's grounder and the Indians went to win 4-3 and avoid the Single A Carolina League sweep before 1,911 fans.

The Tribe improved to 5-8 in the second half and 50-32 overall, while the Blue Rocks fell to 10-5 and 43-41.

Wilmington took an early 3-0 lead after the first three innings on David Martinez, who was making his first start of the year for Kinston. Donnie Murphy had a sacrifice fly and an RBI single in his first two plate appearances, and Keim added a run-scoring double before Martinez settled down. The left-hander wound up working into the sixth inning in his longest outing of the year but did not factor into the decision.

The Indians finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth.

Jonah Bayliss had retired 13 in a row before Rodney Choy Foo broke the string with a surprise bunt to the third base side with one out. That brought Malave to the plate, and he drove a 1-1 pitch deep down the right field line and over the wall. Home plate umpire John Brammer immediately called it fair, despite the protests of Wilmington manager Billy Gardner, Jr. and several of his players. The homer was Malave's third of the year and second of the series, and extended his hitting streak to seven games as Kinston pulled within a run.

With Shea Douglas shutting down the Blue Rocks in relief of Martinez, the Indians threatened in the sixth and seventh but left three runners in scoring position before finally breaking through in the eighth.

Pat Osborn was hit by a pitch with one out, and Jonathan van Every followed with a single to left to chase Barry Armitage. Left-hander Nate Hoelscher came out of the pen, and the switch-hitting Choy Foo advanced both runners 90 feet with a slow roller to shortstop Mike Aviles.

That set the stage for Malave once again, and after working the count full he knocked a sharp grounder to Keim, who backed up and let the ball play him. The runners were moving on contact, and as the ball trickled off Keim's glove and into right field both Osborn and van Every scored without a throw to put Kinston ahead for good 4-3. Todd Pennington did put two men on base in the ninth, but struck out Darren Fenster to finish it out.

Douglas (3-0) earned the win with 22Ú3 innings of shutout relief. He allowed just one hit and struck out four.

Although neither run was earned, Armitage (3-5) took the loss as he was responsible for both runners in the eighth. Pennington's save was his third.