More than 3,000 youngsters filed into Fair Grounds Field Wednesday morning for some early baseball, and despite their lively atmosphere and cheers throughout the game, they could not coax a winning performance from the home team, as the Grand Prairie AirHogs scored nine runs in the second inning en route to a 15-2 rout of the Captains in front of a crowd of 3,319 on Caddo Parish D.A.R.E. Day.
Shreveport-Bossier starter Ron Lowe (0-2) wiggled out of trouble in the first after a leadoff double down the left field line on the 10th pitch of the game by Aaron Garza. After a sacrifice bunt moved Garza to third, Cesar Nicolas lined out to second and Billy Munoz struck out swinging to end the inning. The Captains (3-3) mounted their own threat in the bottom of the first against Matt Green (1-1), who walked the first two hitters. But after a groundout put runners on second and third, Andres Rodriguez lined out to third and Jose Torres struck out.
It was mostly downhill from there for the Captains, as Grand Prairie (2-4) got a pair of runs in the second to take a lead that the AirHogs would never relinquish. Shreveport-Bossier got a run back in the bottom of the second on a two-out RBI single by Kevin Griffin to score Aaron Cone, but it was the closest the Captains would come the rest of the day.
The third inning was the disaster for Lowe and the Captains, as Garza doubled again and scored on a triple by David Espinosa that landed just in front of a diving left fielder Jose Torres and then got by him. Nicolas then singled home a run, Munoz walked and then JB Tucker singled to load the bases. Lowe got a shallow fly ball from Derek Nicholson to hold the runners, but a three straight run-scoring singles by Jay Yaconetti, Brandon Carter, and Noel Trevino knocked out the lefty after just 2 1/3 innings trailing 9-1.
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Josh Bone came on and the damage continued, as Garza singled, Espinosa walked, and Nicolas hit a two-run single. Overall, the AirHogs sent 14 men to the plate in the inning, and scored nine runs on nine hits and two walks.
After that, Green cruised through seven, allowing eight hits and two runs, with a pair of walks and seven strikeouts to pick up his first win of the season. Aaron Cunningham, B.J. Litchfield, and Robert Romero all pitched an inning in relief for the Captains after Bone finished 3 2/3 innings.
Luke Prihoda pitched the final two innings without allowing a hit or run for Grand Prairie, who banged out 18 hits in total, easily eclipsing their previous season high of 11. The AirHogs previous high in runs scored was five. The two teams will conclude their series Thursday night with Nat Harris going for Grand Prairie against Luke Massetti for Shreveport-Bossier.
Notes: Lowe had not lost two games in a season since his rookie year of 2006, and went 4-2 that season. He was 4-1 in 2007 and 6-1 in 2008…the Captains’ previous season highs in runs and hits allowed were six and 10, respectively…The Captains will have a chance at morning-game revenge a week from now, in the middle game of a three-game set at Grand Prairie, scheduled to start at 10:35…Griffin started his second straight game as the designated hitter…Eight of the nine AirHogs starters had a hit, with Munoz being the only one not to join the party. Six had at least two hits and three had at least four, with Trevino going 4-for-5 with three RBIs and Nicolas at 3-6 with four knocked in.
The Shreveport-Bossier Captains wrap up their first home series of the season with Thirsty Thursday sponsored by GAP Broadcasting as well as the first Bud Light Shirt off Our Back Night on Thursday, May 21, at 7:05 p.m. against Grand Prairie. All games will be broadcast on ESPN Radio, KRMD-1340 AM and streamed live on supertalk1340.com, with streaming video provided by NiftyTV on www.sbcaptains.com for all home games and select road games. 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.