West Virginia Keeps Rolling

Eric Farris and West Virginia stayed hot as they improved to 25-9 and increased their divisional lead to four games. Meanwhile, Steven Braun registered his professional hit during Helena's loss.


The Sounds erupted for six runs in the bottom of the eighth to grab an 8-4 advantage, but closer Luis Pena gave most of them right back in the ninth as Tacoma knotted the score at 8-all in a wild contest Friday night.

Erasmo Ramirez (1-4) issued a walk and coughed up a two-run homer in the 12th to give Tacoma a 10-8 advantage, but Nashville battled back before falling 10-9.

With one out in the 12th, Carlos Corporan doubled to right and scored on Hernan Iribarren's single to center. However, Tony Gwynn grounded out to finish 0 for 7 and Joe Dillon struck out for the second time in his 0 for 5 night.

Starter Sam Narron, who leads the Milwaukee organization with 12 wins (six each at Huntsville and Nashville) allowed nine hits and four runs, three earned, in 5.2 innings. Joe Bateman then tossed 2.1 scoreless innings before Pena issued three walks and gave up three hits.

Mitch Stetter, in his first appearance since being sent down from Milwaukee, restored order with two scoreless innings before another frustrating defeat.

First baseman Vinny Rottino doubled home the first run in the eighth, the second scored on a bases-loaded walk and catcher Corporan clubbed a grand slam homer to right to put an exclamation point on the uprising.

Designated hitter Brad Nelson contributed a two-run double in the first and walked three times before being lifted for a pinch runner in the ninth.

The Sounds finished with 10 hits and coaxed 11 walks but still lost.


The Stars couldn't muster enough offense and the pitching finally faltered as they suffered a 2-1 setback in 10 innings against Carolina, which tied Huntsville at 18-16 for second place, still only one game behind Tennessee.

Huntsville had two runners on in ninth but couldn't push across a run and finished with only four hits. Meanwhile, the Mudcats used a single, intentional walk, another walk and an infield hit to score the game-winner.

Jason Shiell (3-2) took the defeat, getting only one out while giving up two walks and two hits.

Nic Ungs worked the first six innings, scattering six hits and allowing one run, a solo homer in the second. Dave Johnson then went three scoreless innings with four strikeouts.

Catcher Angel Salome had a double and an RBI and Mat Gamel's only hit was a triple.

Brevard County

The Manatees allowed single runs from the second through the sixth innings and couldn't find enough offense to rally back, falling 7-3 at Palm Beach to drop to 14-20.

Bobby Bramhall (3-4) lasted 4.2 innings, giving up seven hits and four runs, only two earned, to take the loss. Rafael Lluberes then gave up three runs, two earned, in two innings.

Shortstop Brent Brewer went 2 for 5 with a double and an RBI, while catcher Jonathan Lucroy finished 2 for 4 with two doubles and an RBI. Third baseman Taylor Green knocked in his 65th run with a sacrifice fly.

West Virginia

The Power jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third and never wavered in claiming an 8-1 victory over first-half Northern Division winner Lake County.

Second baseman Eric Farris started the scoring with a two-run double to left, scoring designated hitter Anderson De La Rosa (hit by pitch) and center fielder Lee Haydel (bunt single). The final runs scored on a grounder and right fielder Caleb Gindl's single.

West Virginia improved to 25-9 and increased its lead to four games over Lakewood behind a 13-hit offensive attack and combined six-hitter from Daniel Merklinger (4-7) and Reed Dickert.

Merklinger went six innings, allowing four hits, one walk and one run while striking out six. Dickert recorded his second save with four strikeouts in three innings of two-hit relief.

Farris finished 3 for 6 with four RBIs from the lead-off spot, while first baseman Curt Rindal went 3 for 5 and Haydel went 3 for 4 with three runs scored. Left fielder Logan Schafer and Gindl each contributed two runs.


The Brewers managed five hits in falling back to the .500 mark at 18-18, dropping a 3-2 decision to Billings, which had clinched the North Division title Thursday night against Helena.

No Brewers had more than one hit. First baseman Jose Duran knocked in one run, while Erik Komatsu's groundout scored Ryan Braun's younger brother, Steven, who singled and went 1 for 3.

Efrain Nieves worked the first six innings, allowing only three hits and one earned run. Santo Manzanillo gave up a solo home run in the seventh to give Billings a 3-1 lead, and then Wily Peralta tossed two scoreless innings.


Catcher Jonathan Requena belted a two-run homer and shortstop Luis Sanchez added an RBI single during a three-run fourth inning, but the Brewers' bats were silenced other than that.

The Royals rallied for two runs in the ninth and scored the game-winner in the 11th for a 4-3 triumph that dropped the Brewers to 6-20.

Sanchez and second baseman Carlos George finished 2 for 5, with both of George's hits going for doubles.

Adrian Rosario was excellent, going the first six innings and allowing only five hits and one run. He struck out six and walked none. Damon Krestalude then went two scoreless innings, but Bob McEwen blew the save on two unearned runs in the ninth and Jose Sanchez (0-1) suffered the defeat after allowing two walks and a hit.

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