Marlins complete Dixie Minor season with win over Orioles

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 21, 2000

The Marlins entered the last game of the season with only one loss and last week they completed their season with a 13-5 win over the Orioles. Mathematically, the Marlins had already clinched the Dixie Minor League championship prior to their last game, but the final win made it official as all teams

completed their schedules.

The Marlins wasted little time getting an edge on the Orioles. In the top of the first inning, Ethan Mauch and Zack Smith earned consecutive walks. A wild pitch allowed both runners to move into scoring position at second and third base. After the Orioles recorded the second out of the inning, Sherod Bell earned a walk to load the bases. Blake Reaves and Rocky Harrel both were given walks to bring Mauch and Smith home for a 2-0 lead.

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After holding the Orioles scoreless in the bottom of the first, the Marlins continued to utilize the Orioles' lack of control to score runs. Jeffery Cofer led off the inning with a walk and stole second base. With one out, Nicholas Albritton belted a basehit that allowed Cofer to score, giving the Marlins a 3-0 lead. With a runner on first, the Marlins' Mauch, Smith and Nicholas Blackmon earned three consecutive walks to score Albritton and load the bases. The Marlins then took advantage of a pitch that sailed inside and hit Bell to force another run home to make the score, 4-0. The Orioles recorded the second out of the inning with a strikeout, but a walk to Harrel made the score 5-0. A wild pitch allowed Blackmon to score and moved the runners to second and third base. Adam Braden showed discipline at the plate as he earned a walk to load the bases again. Bell and Harrel each scored on consecutive walks to Cofer and Casey Tesmer to increase their lead to 9-0. Albritton earned his second RBI of the inning when he walked to bring in Braden. Mauch brought in Cofer when he earned a walk and Smith followed with a double that scored Tesmer and Albritton and gave the Marlins a 13-0 lead after two innings. The Orioles escaped more trouble when Mark McGough struck out the final batter of the inning with the bases loaded.

The Orioles were unable to get anything going until the third inning. T.J. Bender got things going with a single and Logan Ausderau reached when he was hit by a pitch. Norman McGowin followed with a walk to load the bases. With one out, Trey Bowen came through with another walk to bring the Orioles first run in and a wild pitch followed that scored Ausderau to make the score 13-2. Blake Mullins came through with a two-out, clutch hit as he nailed a double to score McGowin and Bowen and cut the lead to 13-4.

Mullins moved to third on an error and then scored on a wild pitch. But, the rally came to an end with the Orioles still behind, 13-5.

The Orioles were unable to get anything going in their final inning as Marlins' pitcher Zach Smith struck out three of the four batters he faced to end the game.

Smith earned the victory for the Marlins and recorded ten strikeouts. The Orioles recorded nine strikeouts in the game.

Pirates 17, Braves 6

The Pirates finished the season on a good note as they upset the second-place Braves by a final score of 17-6. The loss cost the Braves as it allowed the Orioles to pass them in the division rankings.

The Pirates jumped out to an early lead as Ethan Pitts and Paul Hendrix hit back-to-back singles with one out in the first inning. Both runners scored on a double off the bat of Hunter Paul. The score became 3-0 when Paul scored on a two-out double by Jeremy Huckabee.

The Braves came right back in the bottom of the first as the Pirates had control problems early in the game. Walks to Joshua Longmire and Aaron Callen turned into runs as both came in on wild pitches, cutting the Pirates' lead to 3-2.

But, the second inning was a good one for the Pirates. Shaun Cook got things goind by leading off with a walk and then rounding the bases on wild pitches to make the score 4-2. With one out, Daulton McCann earned a walk and an error allowed Mac McCrary to reach base. Pitts then lined a double that brought McCann and McCrary home. With two out, back-to-back walks to Paul and Fields loaded the bases. Huckabee reached on an error that scored two runners. In all, the Pirates earned seven runs in the inning to take a 10-2 lead.

The Pirates playued well on defense in the bottom of the inning, not allowing the Braves to score.

In the top of the third, the Pirates added to their lead as McCann earned a walk and scored on a single by Pitts. Hendrix followed with another single and both runners scored on a double by Paul. Huckabee earned the final RBI of the inning as he hit a single that allowed Paul to reach home plate, making the score 14-2.

The Braves picked up their offense in the bottom of the third. Consecutive walks to Jeremy Robinson and Bobby Martin turned into trouble as a wild pitch allowed both to move into scoring position. A one-out triple by Joshua Longmire brought both runners home and cut the lead to 14-4. Trent Jones followed with a walk and then stole second base, allowing Longmire to score on the catcher's throw to second. The Braves got one more run in the inning as Matt Hutchenson nailed a single that brought Jones in, making the score 14-6.

But, the Pirates were not going to be denied their second win of the season. McCann reached base on an error and then moved to second on a wild pitch. A walk to Pitts put runners on first and second for Hendrix who hit a triple that brought in both runners. Paul followed with a double that scored Hendrix, increasing their lead to 17-6.

The Braves were able to load the bases, but the game came to an end as the final batter struck out.

Paul earned the win as pitcher for the Pirates, striking out nine Braves' batters.