Melville rebounds from rough debut with gem

Last Friday, Wilmington righthander Tim Melville had an atrocious 2010 debut against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, surrendering five earned runs on five hits and three walks before being pulled with just two outs in the first inning. On Wednesday, he rebounded with an outstanding outing against the Kinston Indians as the Wilmington Blue Rocks won their first series of the season.

Tim Melville took the mound for his second start of the season on Wednesday afternoon, looking to improve upon his disastrous 2010 debut last Friday. His opponents, the Kinston Indians, were held on Tuesday night to just two hits in a masterpiece authored by Wilmington southpaw Mike Montgomery. With the three-game series tied at one game apiece, the Rocks needed a solid outing from the 20-year-old prospect.

Melville wasted no time announcing his presence with authority. Like Montgomery the previous night, he struck out the side in order in the first inning. He fanned another batter in the second in another 1-2-3 frame, and the Blue Rocks' offense plated a run in the top of the third inning, giving Wilmington a 1-0 lead.

The one run was all Melville would need or receive. He allowed his first baserunner with a leadoff walk in the third inning, but that runner was erased when he was caught stealing by catcher Salvador Perez. The Indians' first hit came two batters later, but Melville ended the inning with his fifth strikeout of the game.

In fact, the third inning single by Ron Rivas was the only hit the Indians would get off of Melville. He fanned two more hitters in the fourth in another perfect frame, and with two outs in the fifth, he recorded his eighth strikeout of the game. The ball got away from the catcher on the third strike, and the batter made his way to first, but Melville recovered and induced a fly ball to center to end the inning and his outing. On the day, Melville's line was 5.0 innings pitched, 1 hit, 0 runs, 1 walk, and 8 strikeouts.

The Rocks' bullpen took over in the sixth, with Riquy Pena and Buddy Baumann combining for four shutout innings while preserving the Blue Rocks' 1-0 win. Baumann, a Missouri State product selected in the seventh round of last year's draft, was perfect in his two innings of work, striking out five batters, including the final four Kinston hitters of the game. With their combined efforts, Blue Rocks pitchers held the Kinston Indians to just two hits for the second straight game.

The Blue Rocks (3-4) have an off-day on Thursday before hosting the Potomac Nationals (2-3) for their home opener at Frawley Stadium on Friday night. Chris Dwyer (0-0, 4.50 ERA) will start for Wilmington.

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