Down on the Dodger Farm

Jacksonville and Columbus faced games of the vital variety Sunday. Definitely the time to come up bigtime as both contests went into extra innings. Derek Michaelis did just that for the Suns, Marcos Carvajal definitely didn't for the Catfish so the two teams wound up going in different directions.

Michaelis, the 6-7 former Rice basketball star, had his moment to shine in the 10th inning when he came up with the bases loaded, two outs in a 3-3 tie with Carolina (Marlins ). He came through with a double that chased two runs home and the Suns went on to a 7-4 victory that pulled them past the losers into second place in the Southern League East, just 1 1/2 games behind Chattanooga.

Columbus certainly seemed in a position for a win also as the Fish counted twice in the top of the 11th for a 3-1 lead over Charleston, S.C. (Devils Rays) with Carvajal, who'd been extremely reliable thus far, coming in to close it out. However, before it was done the Riverdogs pushed him around for three runs to snatch a 4-3 triumph that not only padded their lead in the SAL South but dropped the Catfish all the way from second to fourth.

For Jacksonville, Reggie Abercrombie homered on the game's initial, pitch, his first since late August of 2003 and also singled while Nelson Castro singled and doubled with Brett Dowdy adding two hits. After Glenn Bott gave up three runs in five innings, Elvin Nina was perfect for three, Brian Steffek (2-1) likewise for one. Yhency Brazoban was touched for a run in closing it out.

Columbus received another splendid performance from Chuck Tiffany, who was reached for only one hit in five innings. Hong Chi Kuo followed with a scoreless sixth, then Alvis Ojeda came on for three perfect but Charleston got to him for a run in the ninth for a 1-1 tie that forced the overtime play.

The defeat was the first for Carvajal after three victories. Chin -Lung Hu was the only Fish with two hits as they dropped 2 1/2 behind Charleston with Rome and Capital City moving ahead of them in the standings to make matters worse.

Las Vegas and Tacoma (Mariners) managed to get in only one inning with the 51's grabbing a 1-0 lead before rain ended matters for the day. The game will be resumed before the regularly scheduled contest today.

Vero Beach was idle.