Las Vegas, Jacksonville Winners Opening Night

The Dodgers split on opening night with the AAA Las Vegas 51s dumping Fresno 7-2 at Cashman Field and Jacksonville picking up where they left off during their championship season of 2005, winning 2-0 on a walkoff home run by catcher Brad Cresse. Vero lost a tough, 1-0 decision at St. Lucie and Columbus, also on the road, lost 6-1.

Billingsley Wins Opener-- The crown jewel of the Dodger minor league pitchers sparkled brightly Thursday night, as RHP Chad Billingsley worked five innings and allowed only four hits and a pair of runs in a 7-2 win. He left after throwing 73 pitches, 48 of them strikes. It took a five run fifth inning to break a 2-2 tie and hand Las Vegas their first win of the season. An error by the Fresno shortstop allowed Vegas a 3-2 lead and Delwyn Young doubled to score outfielders Andre Ethier and Joel Guzman, then Young raced across the plate on a single by Oscar Robles. A Willy Aybar double knocked in the first run in the third inning. Fresno used a two-run homer in the top of the fifth to tie the game off Billingsley but the five-spot sealed the win. Joe Beimel worked a shutout inning and Harold Eckert fanned three over the final three innings to earn a save. Aybar and shortstop Wilson Valdez each had a pair of hits.
 Las Vegas    ab r h bi ave 
Duncan CF      4 1 1 1 .250
Aybar 3B       4 0 2 1 .500
Ethier RF      4 1 1 2 .250
Guzman, J 1B   4 1 1 0 .250
Young, D LF    4 1 1 2 .250
Robles 2B      3 0 1 1 .333
Martin, R C    4 0 0 0 .000
Valdez SS      3 2 2 0 .667
Billingsley P  1 0 0 0 .000
 *Alvarez,N PH 1 1 1 0 1.000
 Beimel P      0 0 0 0 .000
 Truby b- PH   1 0 0 0 .000
 Eckert P      1 0 0 0 .000
 Totals       34 7 10 7
 Fresno       30 2 6 0

 Score by innings-- 
Fresno     000 020 000-2
Las Vegas  002 050 00x-5

  Errors-- Fresno 2. 2B-- Aybar (1), 
Young, D (1). RBI-- Aybar (1), Ethier 2 
(2), Duncan (1), Young, D 2 (2),Robles (1). 
LOB-- Fresno 5, Las Vegas 5. SB--
Duncan (1). DP-- Fresno 1, Las Vegas 2 (Robles-Valdez-Guzman, J, Aybar-
Robles-Guzman, J).

 Las Vegas          in  h r-er bb so era
Billingsley(W,1-0)  5.0 4 2-2  2  3 3.60
Beimel              1.0 1 0-0  0  1 0.00
Eckert (S,1)        3.0 1 0-0  1  3 0.00
 WP-- Billingsley. T-- 2:26. Att-- 4,624.
Cresse Homer In Ninth Wins-- It was business as usual at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville when catcher Brad Cresse slugged a two-run homer in the last of the ninth to give the Suns a 2-0 victory over Chattanooga in their opener. Starter Danny Muegge worked five shutout innings but the Lookout's pitching gave up a single to Suns shortstop Chin-Lung Hu in the first, then retired 17 consecutive Jacksonville batters. Greg Miller took over for Muegge and protected the shutout for two innings, before Alvis Ojeda pitched a perfect eighth and Carlos Alvarez a perfect ninth. Cresse's home run, with Justin Ruggiano on base, ended the game in the ninth. Suns' pitching held Chattanooga to five hits and collected four of their own. It was the Suns' seventh consecutive season opener.
  Jacksonville ab r h bi ave
Abreu 2B        3 0 0 0 .000
Hu SS           3 0 1 0 .333
Kemp CF         4 0 0 0 1.000
LaRoche 3B      4 0 1 0 .250
Zapp 1B         4 0 0 0 .000
Ruggiano, J RF  3 1 1 0 .333
Cresse C        4 1 1 2 .250
Raglani LF      2 0 0 0 .000
Muegge P        1 0 0 0 .000
  Miller P      1 0 0 0 .000
  Ojeda P       0 0 0 0 .000
  *Ruan PH      0 0 0 0 .000
  Alvarez, C P  0 0 0 0 .000
    Totals      29 2 4 2
    Chattanooga 35 0 5 0

  Score by innings:
Chattanooga   000 000 000-2
Jacksonville  000 000 002-2 

BATTING
HR-- Cresse (1). RBI-- Cresse 2(2). 
LOB-- Fresno 8, Jacksonville 6.
2-out RBI-- Cresse 2. S-- Ruan.

  Jacksonville   in h r-er bb so era
Muegge            5.0 5 0-0 1 4 0.00
Miller            2.0 0 0-0 2 1 0.00
Ojeda             1.0 0 0-0 0 1 0.00
Alvarez,C (W,1-0) 1.0 0 0-0 0 2 0.00
  HBP-- Abreu. T-- 2:19. Att-- 8,588.
VB Loses 1-0 at St. Lucie-- Dodger pitching was excellent, but not quite good enough as the Mets scored one in the eighth to win. Dodgers starter Scott Elbert, the Dodgers No. one pick in the 2004 draft, allowed only four hits over five scoreless innings. He gave up a single and a walk in the first but got a fly ball and a double play started by Brad DeWitt ended the threat. Brian Akin (0-1), after two scoreless innings, allowed a double and two ground balls that scored the only run in the eighth inning. The Dodgers threatened in the seventh. Blake DeWitt led off with a triple to the gap in right-center. But after a strikeout, DeWitt was thrown out at home trying to score.
Vero Beach   ab r h bi ave
Paul, X RF    4 0 0 0 .000
Hoffmann CF   4 0 0 0 .000
Dewitt 2B     4 0 1 0 .250
Denker, T 3B  3 0 1 0 .333
Borders C     3 0 0 0 .000
Bruce DH      2 0 0 0 .000
Carter, R LF  3 0 1 0 .333
Mooneyham 1B  3 0 1 0 .333
Rohan SS      3 0 0 0 .000
  Totals     29 0 4 0
  St. Lucie 28 1 5 1

  E-- Rohan (1). 3B-- Dewitt (1). LOB-- 
Vero Beach 3, St. Lucie 9. CS-- 
Bruce (1), Mooneyham (1). DP-- 2(Dewitt
-Mooneyham, Dewitt-Rohan-Mooneyham), 
St. Lucie 1.

Vero Beach    in h r-er bb so era
Elbert       5.0 4 0-0  2  1 0.00
Akin (L,0-1) 3.0 2 1-1  0  2 3.00
  WP-- Akin. HBP-- by Elbert 2, by 
Akin 1. T-- 2:16. Att-- 2,711.
Five-Run Seventh Sinks Catfish-- Brent Leach worked six scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out seven, then handed the game over to Arismendy Castillo (0-1) in the bottom of the seventh but Greenville thumped him for five runs (four earned) and coasted to a 6-1 win that was delayed 31 minutes by rain. The Catfish jumped into a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when designated hitter Jesus Soto banged a home run, the only hit Greenville pitching allowed. Greenville tied the game in the last of the same inning on a pair of doubles. In the seventh, Castillo gave up a pair of singles, a walk and a triple to plate the first three runs. A single and an error allowed the final two of the inning. Columbus picked up one walk but was tagged with an even dozen strikeouts.
   Columbus  ab r h bi ave
Godwin CF     4 0 0 0 .000
Rivera SS     4 0 0 0 .000
Soto DH       3 1 1 0 .333
Perez 3B      2 0 0 0 1.000
Sutherland 1B 3 0 0 0 .000
May LF        3 0 0 0 .000
Pedroza RF    3 0 0 0 .000
Apodaca C     3 0 0 0 .000
De Jesus 2B   3 0 0 0 .000
  Totals     28 0 1 0
  Greenville 32 6 5 4

  Score by innings:
Columbus    000 100 000-1
Greenville  000 100 50x-6

   E-- Apodaca (1). HR-- Soto (1). 
RBI-- Soto (1). LOB-- Columbus 1, 
Greenville 4.

Columbus         in h r-er bb so era
Leach           6.0 2 1-1  3  7 1.50
Castillo(L,0-1) 1.0 3 5-4  2  1 6.00
McDonald        1.0 0 0-0  1  1 0.00
  WP-- Castillo. HBP-- Perez. 
T-- 2:11 Att-- 5,700.

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