Cards earn first win of season; Marlins stay in first

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 7, 2000

The Cardinals scored six runs in one inning and shut down the Pirates on Thursday as they tasted victory for the first time this season in the Dixie Minor League, 6-1.

The first inning featured strong pitching as the Pirates' Hunter Paul and the Cards' Danny Spann both struck out the opposing sides to keep the game scoreless.

But, in the top of the second the Pirates jumped on top as Jeremy Fields led off with a walk. He stole second and later in the inning moved to third and scored on wild pitches to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead. Spann escaped further damage by striking out two in the inning.

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H. Paul gave up a walk to Clark Young to lead off the bottom of the second. After he struck out two Cardinal batters, Young who had moved to third base, was tagged out after trying to score on a wild pitch.

Spann kept the Cards within striking distance by striking out the first three batters the Pirates sent to the plate in the top of the third.

In the bottom of the third the Cardinals found some offense. The first three batters of the inning, Quinton Briggs, Hayden Duke and Chase Thrower, each walked to load the bases. Tim Dunklin drove in the tying run with the fourth walk of the inning. With bases loaded and one out, Jason Tutchtone followed with the free pass to drive in the go-ahead run. But, then it was pitcher Danny Spann who had the big hit of the inning as he ripped a triple to score Thrower, Dunklin and Tutchtone. Spann scored the sixth run of the inning on a wild pitch to give the Cards a 6-1 lead.

Spann shut down the Pirates through the rest of the game, striking out five batters in the final two innings, securing the win. In all, Spann struck out twelve batters.

Marlins 10, Pirates 3

The Marlins continued to lead the Dixie Minor League standings and they improved their record once again with a win over the Pirates on May 25, 10-3.

The Marlins jumped out to lead the Pirates in the top of the first inning. After Pirates' pitcher Jeremy Fields struck out the leadoff batter, Ethan Mauch lined a double and Zac Smith followed with a walk. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch. After striking out another batter for the second out of the inning, two consecutive wild pitches gave the Marlins a 2-0 lead.

The Pirates cut the lead in the bottom of the inning as Sean Cook led off with a double. He scored on a two-out triple by Hunter Paul to make the score 2-1.

The Marlins expanded their lead in the top of the second. Brantley McKeown led off the inning with a single and then stole second base. The next batter, Blake Reaves, was hit by a pitch and Jeffrey Cofer earned a walk to load the bases with one out. Once again, two wild pitches helped the Marlins bring two runs across and Cofer later scored to give the Marlins a 5-1 lead.

The Pirates would not go down easily. Steven Edwards and Daniel Paul led off the bottom of the second with walks. With one out, Wade Bush smacked a double to score both

runners and cut the lead to 5-3.

But, the rest of the game belonged to the Marlins. They pulled away with four more runs in the top of the third. After getting aboard on an error, two consecutive wild pitches set up an RBI opportunity for Nicholas Blackmon who cashed in with a single to make the score 6-3.

Two more wild pitches put Blackmon on third. Sherod Bell earned a one-out walk and stole second base as Blackmon came home on the throw to second. Bell scored as McKeown hit a double to rightfield to give the Marlins a 9-3 lead.

The Marlins tacked on one more in the fourth as Nicholas Albritton made his way around the bases after being walked.

Albritton was also the victor on the mound, striking out a total of six Pirates, including three in the bottom of the fourth to complete the game.

Marlins 5, Braves 2

The second place Braves were seeking to narrow the gap between themselves and the Marlins on Thursday. But, it was the league leaders who came out on top with a 5-2 win over the second place Braves.

Zack Smith helped get the Marlins off to a good start by striking out the side in the top of the first. Trent Jones, a Braves' baserunner, got as far as third but was unable get home before the inning came to an end.

But, the Marlins were able to get two runners home as Albritton and Ethan Mauch both scored in the bottom of the first. After that, Braves' pitcher Adam Vickery warmed up and struck out the final three batters of the inning.

Both pitchers played well through the second inning. But, in the top of the third the Braves were able to tie the game at two as Durell Carter and Jeremy Robinson came in to score with two outs.

The score remained the same until the bottom of the fourth as the Marlins recaptured the lead on a run scored by Albritton, making the score 3-2.

The Marlins added two more to their score in the fifth as Sherod Bell and Brantley McKeown touched home plate to increase the lead to 5-2.

Smith never gave the Braves an opportunity in the final innings as he struck out five of the final six batters he faced. He struck out a total of 14 Braves and earned the victory.