Friday, August 18, 2006

Curtis Walkoff Hit Gives Baby Bombers 1-0 Victory In 10

STATEN ISLAND, NY -For nine innings, they couldn't get much done offensively. None of that mattered when center fielder Colin Curtis delivered a walkoff 10th inning double to lift the Baby Bombers (33-22) to a 1-0 victory over Mahoning Valley (30-26) before 3,250 at Richmond County Ball Park Friday night.

"That's exciting," Curtis said. "We hadn't really had anything going all game. We got something going that inning and came out with the win in front. A lot of excitement for the fans who stuck around."

After only mustering two hits the first nine innings against the Scrappers, Staten Island left fielder Seth Fortenberry got the 10th started with a drag bunt single. After Tim O'Brien sacrificed him into scoring position, Mahoning Valley reliever Matthew Meyer (2-2) opted to intentionally walk Kyle Larsen to get to Curtis.

Hitless in his first seven at bats in the series, he made them pay by working the count full and serving an opposite field double which easily scored Fortenberry for the game's only run to make a winner out of reliever Nick Peterson (3-3) after the closer tossed two scoreless frames.

"I kind of came up in that situation- went deep in the count and fouled off some pitches and [Meyer] threw me a pitch that he had thrown earlier in the at bat...I think getting deep into the count and seeing a bunch of pitches helped me bring in that last run."

Both starters were in control. S.I.'s Jim Conroy matched zeroes with Erik Stiller for the first six before giving way to the pens. It was in the Scrappers' seventh that they had the best chance to go ahead.

After Conroy put the first two runners on, manager Gaylen Pitts called on Jonathan Hovis to get out of trouble. After striking out the first two batters, he got a little defensive help from Larsen on an infield hit. The first baseman noticed that Jared Goedert came off third too much and started a 3-5-2 putout to nail him at the plate to end the threat. The alert play allowed Hovis to get out of it.

"I got in there with a guy on first and second, nobody out," he said after also working a scoreless eighth before giving way to Peterson.

"I knew I had to get a ground ball. So I went with fastballs, sinkers and got lucky. Got a couple of strikeouts and then got a groundball. Do what you can in that situation to limit the damage and was able to get out of it without giving up a run."

"It was a good game on both sides," Pitts pointed out. "Their pitching allowed one hit in seven innings...When you're home, you get to have the last at bat. It makes it a little easier."

On Fireworks Night, that proved true.

Notes: Conroy went six allowing four hits, walking one and fanning five while counterpart Stiller allowed just one hit and K'd four. ... S.I. second baseman Wilmer Pino continued his hot hitting by going 1-for-3. The All Star is now hitting .348. ... Third baseman Mitch Hilligoss was given the night off to after being plunked in the lower back in Thursday's win. ... Baby Bombers go for the sweep tonight before hosting the second place Cyclones Sunday afternoon to complete the homestand.

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