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Link Report for Fri. 5/11 - Stars One Strike Away From No-No

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Friday's Daily Menu: TGIF!


All times Central; pitchers subject to change --


Nashville: RHP Yo Gallardo at Colorado Springs (Rockies), 6:50 PM pre-game; 7:05 gametime


Audio link:



Huntsville: LHP Lindsay Gulin at home vs. Mobile (Diamondbacks), 10:20 AM pre-game; 10:35 gametime


Audio link:



Brevard County: RHP Jesse Harper at home vs. Fort Myers (Twins), 5:50 PM pre-game, 6:00 gametime


Audio link (game will also archive at this link):



West Virginia: LHP Mike Ramlow at Hagerstown (Nationals), 5:25 PM pre-game, 5:35 gametime


Audio link (game will also archive at this link):


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Follow Friday's action as it happens:

Here's what you do, right click on each of the links below and choose "Open in New Window". Open the Nashville Gameday. For the others, choose "Log". While you're listening to your minor league game of choice (or watching/listening to the big league Crew when they are playing), simply refresh your game log browsers every so often.










Brevard County:




West Virginia:



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These links will be included in each daily report when the Nashville Sounds and/or Huntsville Stars are scheduled to play. Normally they are updated an hour or two prior to gametime, with Nashville's usually earlier:


Nashville Media Notes (Adobe .pdf format):




Huntsville Media Notes (Adobe .pdf format):



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Standings through Thursday's action:
 Pacific Coast League (AAA) - PCL American North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Iowa 19 15 .559 - 11-4 8-11 W7 Nashville 18 16 .529 1.0 10-5 8-11 L3 Memphis 17 18 .486 2.5 13-7 4-11 L1 Omaha 15 19 .441 4.0 12-7 3-12 L2 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Southern League (AA) - SOU North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tennessee 16 16 .500 - 5-8 11-8 L1 West Tenn 16 18 .471 1.0 8-7 8-11 W1 Huntsville 15 17 .469 1.0 8-11 7-6 W1 Chattanooga 15 19 .441 2.0 9-10 6-9 L1 Carolina 14 20 .412 3.0 7-8 7-12 W1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Florida State League (A+) - FSL East Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Daytona 19 14 .576 - 11-5 8-9 W4 Brevard County 19 15 .559 0.5 10-6 9-9 W3 Palm Beach 18 15 .545 1.0 9-10 9-5 L1 Vero Beach 16 17 .485 3.0 11-7 5-10 W1 Jupiter 15 19 .441 4.5 5-9 10-10 L2 St. Lucie 14 20 .412 5.5 7-11 7-9 L4 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- South Atlantic League (A) - SAL Northern Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- West Virginia 23 8 .742 - 13-5 10-3 W2 Greensboro 21 13 .618 3.5 12-4 9-9 L1 Lakewood 16 15 .516 7.0 7-10 9-5 W1 Lake County 16 16 .500 7.5 9-7 7-9 L1 Lexington 15 19 .441 9.5 8-10 7-9 W1 Hickory 13 18 .419 10.0 6-6 7-12 L2 Delmarva 13 19 .406 10.5 6-9 7-10 W2 Hagerstown 12 21 .364 12.0 7-10 5-11 L2

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Final: Huntsville 2, Mobile (Diamondbacks) 1

Marino Salas was one strike away (twice) from finishing a combined no-hitter with Lindsay Gulin (five innings) and Corey Thurman (three innings). He walked Cesar Nicolas prior to Mark Reynolds lining a base hit past third baseman Adam Heether, who had no chance. It would have been the first home no-hitter in Stars' history (they have two on the road).


The score was already 2-1 entering the 9th, as an unearned run had scored previously back in the 4th, so if this were Major League Baseball, the no-hitter would not have been official as it was 1) not a complete nine-inning game and 2) wasn't a shutout.


Still, it would have been nice. Carlos Corporan still hot, even now at AA -- we'll let the Stars' website summarize things for us in a bit...


By the way, great job all afternoon on the call by Brett Pollock and Bryan Neece. Kudos to Neece, the Director of Media Relations, who assists on the mike at all home games, and has come so far in the couple of years since he began doing so.


Huntsville Box Score:

This squad is still short on "star" power, no pun intended, but hey, nice win...




Huntsville Game Log:



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Huntsville Site Game Summary:

Link, text follows --




Stars Oh So Close to Making History


Mark Reynolds? two-strike, two-out single to left field in the ninth inning ended the Stars bid for a first-ever no-hitter at home, as Huntsville hung on to defeat Mobile 2-1 Friday afternoon in front of 7,732, the largest crowd the Stars have played before home or away this season. Huntsville won the last two games of the series to gain a 5-5 split on its? 10-game home stand and improved to 16-17 on the season, while the BayBears dropped to 16-19. The Stars have thrown two no-hitters in their 23-year history, one at Birmingham in August, 1992 and the other less than a year later at Engle Stadium in Chattanooga. Both came when the Stars were affiliated with the Oakland A's. -- Mass Haas


Marino Salas retired Emilio Bonifacio and Phil Avlas on fly balls to right field for the first two outs in the ninth before Cesar Nicolas walked on a 3-2 pitch to keep the inning going. Reynolds, who had reached safely in his first nine at-bats of the series and in 12 out of 15 total, lined a 1-2 pitch past a diving Adam Heether at third base into left field for the visitors lone hit. Salas retired Chris Rahl on a fly out to right to preserve the 15th one-hitter in team history, earn his fourth save of the home stand and seventh of the season.


Lindsay Gulin, in his first start since joining the Stars earlier in the week, worked five innings, walking two, fanning five and allowing an unearned run in the fourth inning. Reynolds walked with two outs, moved to third on a Gulin throwing error to first base on a Rahl slow roller up the line and scored on the back end of a double steal. Corey Thurman threw three hitless innings, retiring all nine batters he faced to extend his scoreless innings streak to 11 2/3 over his last seven outings. Gulin threw a complete game no-hitter on June 13, 2003, pitching Las Vegas to a 7-0 over Tacoma, during which he walked four and fanned seven.


Greg Smith blanked the Stars on two singles through three innings before Brendan Katin reached with two outs in the fourth on a throwing error by Reynolds at third base. Mike Carlin walked and Carlos Corporan followed with a double to left to drive in both runners. The trio of Smith, Clint Goocher and Abe Woody retired 13 of the next 14 hitters and did not allow another runner past second base.


The Stars travel to Raleigh, NC to begin a five-game series with the Carolina Mudcats on Saturday evening. Huntsville will send southpaw Sam Narron to the hill against Carolina right-hander Daniel Barone. Coverage of the game begins at 5:00 p.m. central time and can be heard locally on SportsRadio 730 AM WUMP and through the internet at www.huntsvillestars.com.

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Final: West Virginia 11, Hagerstown (Nationals) 10


West Virginia Site Game Summary:

Includes notes from MiLB.com --




The West Virginia Power and Hagerstown Suns combined to score 21 runs on 31 hits at Municipal Stadium on Thursday night in their series finale. Though the Suns erased deficits of 4-0 and 11-5, they still dropped their third game in the series to the Power by the final tally of 11-10.


West Virginia jumped on top in the first inning on RBI singles from Michael Brantley and Martin Maldonado, and Steve Chapman finished the scoring in the first on a two-run base hit. The Suns cut the 4-0 deficit in half on Chris Marrero?s two-run homer, his first of two home runs in the game. Leonard Davis doubled in a run for the Suns in the second inning and the Suns tied the game in the fifth on Marrero?s run-scoring single.


In the top of the sixth inning with the game tied at 4-4, Taylor Green hit a grand slam to put the Power ahead for good. It was the second grand slam of the year for the Power and Green?s second bomb of the season. Brantley hit a solo shot in the seventh inning, his second of the year, to give the Power a 9-4 advantage. Brett McMillan singled in a run in the seventh for Hagerstown but the Power answered with two runs in the top of the eighth inning.


Darren Ford scored on Stephen King?s errant throw and Brantley knocked in Kenny Holmberg with a base hit. The Suns scored five times in the eighth inning to come within a run. Marcos Cabral hit a two-run double and Chris Marrero hit a three-run shot, his second of the game. Marrero drove in six of Hagerstown?s ten runs. In the ninth inning the Suns had runners on first and second base when E.J. Shanks struck out Cabral to end the game.


Every position player that started for both teams recorded a hit. Five Power players recorded multi-hit games including Michael Brantley who led the team with three hits.


The six RBIs were a career best for the Suns' Marrero, who drove in three runs on several occasions. The former first-round draft pick homered in three consecutive games from May 1-3 and is hitting .344 with five homers and 17 RBIs in nine games this month.


Alex Periard (3-0) allowed a run on five hits through three innings to earn the victory, Shanks (4) got the save and Jhonny Nunez (1-3) was tagged with the loss. West Virginia starter Mike Ramlow yielded three runs on five hits and two walks in three frames, striking out three. Nunez was tagged for seven runs -- five earned -- on eight hits with two walks and four strikeouts in five-plus innings.


The Power improved to 24-8 with the win and the Suns fell to 12-22 with the loss.


The Power will begin a four game series against the Greensboro Grasshoppers at Appalachian Power Park on Saturday night. The Power will start right hander Mike McClendon (2-0, 2.25) and the Grasshoppers will counter with left hander Tom Cowley (1-1, 2.45). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM (6:05 Central).


West Virginia Box Score:

RHP Omar Aguilar's tough night includes a HBP and two wild pitches; heading into tonight, the Power were hitting .293 as a team -- next best is at .276 -- after Saturday, they're at .296...




West Virginia Game Log:

Obviously a lot to digest here; all three Hagerstown errors contributed to Power rallies; the Power lineup is just relentless, check out the four-run first, if nothing else...



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Final: Brevard County 4, Fort Myers (Twins) 2

Manatees back in first place...


Game Notes from MiLB.com:


Manatees win fourth straight


Chris Errecart and Angel Salome hit back-to-back homers in the first inning to spark Brevard County to a 4-2 victory over visiting Fort Myers on Friday.


After Fort Myers (12-23) scored in the top of the first, Alcides Escobar reached on an error to open the bottom of the inning and stole second with one out. Errecart followed with his third homer and Salome drilled his second to put the Manatees (20-15) in front.


Jeff Christy got the Miracle within a run in the seventh with his first homer of the season, but Salome's comebacker plated Lorenzo Cain with an insurance tally in the eighth.


Jesse Harper (2-3) got the win in relief after yielding one run on two hits and a walk with one strikeout in three innings. Kevin Roberts worked around a hit in the ninth for his first save of the season, nailing down Brevard County's fourth straight win.


Starter Jay Rainville (2-4) was charged with three runs -- two earned -- on five hits in five innings. He struck out four without issuing a walk for Fort Myers, which has lost three in a row.


Christy and Edward Ovalle had two hits apiece for the Manatees. -- Daren Smith/MLB.com


Additional details from the Miracle's site:


VIERA, FL (May 11, 2007) ? Back-to-back home runs in the first inning by Brevard County on Friday night paced the Manatees to a 4-2 victory over the Fort Myers Miracle at Space Coast Stadium. The Miracle have now lost three straight against the Manatees and will wrap up the road trip on Saturday night.


The Miracle would jump on the board first as Erik Lis kept the inning alive with a two-double to right, his 11th of the season. Juan Portes followed with a triple off the wall in center scoring Lis while coming steps away from an inside-the-park-HR. Portes was thrown out on an 8-4-2 Manatees relay to end the first.


The first of three Miracle errors on the night began the Brevard County first as Alcides Escobar reached on a Steve Tolleson fielding error at second. After retiring Lorenzo Cain on a fly ball to center, Miracle starter Jay Rainville would give up a two-run blast to Chris Errecart shooting the Manatees to a 2-1 lead. On the very next pitch, catcher Angel Salome sent the baseball approximately 450 feet away over the batter?s eye in center field.


The ball game would stay at 3-1 until Jeff Christy connected on his first dinger of the season, a solo shot to left, trimming the Manatee lead to 3-2. Brevard County would tack on an insurance run in the eighth as Cain scored from third on a ground out by Salome. Cain was hit by a pitch to begin the frame, moved to second on a stolen base and took third as Christy made his second throwing error of the night on the play.


The Miracle committed three errors on the night while out-hitting the Manatees 8-5. Timely hitting for the Miracle was absent again on Friday night despite four extra base hits. The season long eight-game road trip and four-game series against the Manatees will wrap up at 6:00 PM on Saturday night (5:00 Central) with RHP Kyle Waldrop (4-1, 2.92) getting the call for the Miracle.


Brevard County Box Score:

LHP David Welch the surprise starter, with Jesse Harper following up, very nice effort from Welch, as usual; six pitchers share Brevard's ten saves, with Kevin Roberts getting his first in this game -- Luis Pena leads the staff with four; Mat Gamel walks twice, he gets a night at DH to shake the fielding bug from the prior night with the versatile Ryan Crew at third base; nice to see Angel Salome with the bomb as he struggles to dust off the rust at the plate...




Brevard County Game Log:

Cole Gillespie has a .740 OPS in a tough league (18 walks helps push it to that level), but let's be honest, he hasn't met expectations yet this season, even considering the league jump -- he failed in the 6th with a man on third and only one out...



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Final: Colorado Springs (Rockies) 8, Nashville 7

Brutal loss...


Nashville Site Game Summary:

Link for Laynce Nix photo, text follows --




Sounds Blow Six-Run Lead, Fall To Sky Sox 8-7


COLORADO SPRINGS ? The Nashville pitching staff squandered a six-run lead as the Colorado Springs Sky Sox rallied to post an 8-7 victory over the Sounds on Friday evening at Security Service Field and complete a four-game sweep of the clubs? four-game series.


Nashville (18-17), which was swept for the second time this season, has dropped 10 of its last 12 road contests. The Sounds have lost six straight games to the Sky Sox, dating back to last season.


The loss marked the sixth last at-bat defeat for Nashville this season and was the club?s 11th loss in a game in which it held a lead.


With the victory, the Sky Sox extended their season-best winning streak to five games, the cub?s best effort since the 2005 season.


Outfielder Laynce Nix, who joined the Sounds earlier in the day from Double-A Huntsville as he continues his minor-league rehabilitation assignment while recovering from a right oblique strain, made an immediate impact by going 2-for-3 with a home run, double, two walks, two runs scored, and three RBIs.


Nashville third baseman Jose Macias went 4-for-4 on the evening, becoming the fifth Sound to post a four-hit effort this season.


Colorado Springs took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning when Edwin Bellorin scored an unearned run on a bases-loaded fielder?s choice groundout off the bat of pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.


The Sounds grabbed a 3-1 lead it in the fourth with a three-run outburst against Jimenez. Nix drew a walk, moved to second on a Vinny Rottino single, and scored the game-tying run on Drew Anderson?s one-out RBI double to left. Nashville took the lead when Macias ripped an RBI single to right that was mishandled by Sky Sox outfielder Alexis Gomez, allowing a second run to come home on the play.


Nix increased the Nashville lead to 6-1 in the fifth when he slugged a three-run homer to right off Jimenez. The blast, his first of the year, also scored Callix Crabbe and Chris Barnwell, who had opened the frame with a single and a walk, respectively.


AUDIO: Laynce Nix Three-Run Homer --




The fifth-inning Nashville rally continued when Brad Nelson walked and scored on a Rottino double to left, which chased Jimenez and upped the Sounds? lead to 7-1.


Jimenez, who was spared his fourth loss of the season by the Sky Sox comeback, allowed seven runs (six earned) on eight hits over four-plus innings.


The Colorado Springs bullpen held the Nashville offense in check following Jimenez?s departure, closing the contest with five scoreless innings as the offense made its comeback.


The Sky Sox plated a trio of runs in the sixth against Yovani Gallardo on back-to-back two-out RBI doubles by Bellorin and Gomez, the second of which chased the right-hander, followed by a Jayson Nix RBI single that greeted Dennis Sarfate and pulled Colorado Springs within 7-4.


Colorado Springs made it a 7-5 contest in the seventh against Sarfate when Cory Sullivan scored in unearned fashion on a two-out squeeze bunt by Ian Stewart.


The Sky Sox completed their comeback and took an 8-7 lead in the eighth by plating three runs, two of them unearned, against Nashville reliever Jose Capellan. Doug Bernier opened with a walk and moved to third when second baseman Chris Barnwell mishandled a Jayson Nix grounder. After Nix stole second, Seth Smith tied the contest with a two-run single to right-center.


Three batters later, Smith came around to score the go-ahead run when a line drive off the bat of Ryan Spilborghs popped out of the glove of Sounds right fielder Callix Crabbe.


Colorado Springs reliever Mike Esposito (2-0) was the beneficiary of the Sky Sox comeback, receiving the win after working a scoreless inning. Ryan Speier worked a flawless ninth to earn his second save of the series and team-leading sixth of the year.


Capellan (2-2) took the loss for Nashville after suffering his second blown save in three opportunities this season.


Gallardo allowed a season-high four runs (three earned) on five hits over 5 2/3 frames for the Sounds and was denied a win for the second time in his last three starts due to a blown save by the Sounds? bullpen. He fanned four batters to take the overall minor league strikeout lead with 55 on the season, passing Birmingham?s Gio Gonzalez (54).


The Sounds look to snap their four-game skid when they continue their road trip by traveling to Salt Lake City on Saturday to take on the Bees (AAA-Angels) in the teams? only series of the season. Salt Lake won three of the four contests between the clubs in 2006.


Nashville left-hander Zach Jackson (5-2, 3.61), who tossed a one-hitter on Monday in his last start, will toe the rubber and face Salt Lake right-hander Kasey Olenberger (4-1, 2.72).


Link while active, text follows:




Sky Sox sweep series for first time since ?04



An improbable comeback Friday gave the Colorado Springs Sky Sox their fifth straight win ? and first series sweep since 2004 ? in front of the season?s largest crowd at Security Service Field.


The Sky Sox scored seven runs in their final three at-bats to beat Nashville 8-7, much to the delight of 8,537 fans. The Sky Sox bullpen threw five scoreless innings while their offense rallied from a 7-1 deficit.


?Shame on (Nashville) for letting us hang around,? said Sky Sox closer Ryan Speier, who earned his sixth save. ?They should?ve buried us. But they made some mistakes and we took advantage.?


Nashville entered the series as the best-fielding team in the Pacific Coast League, but the Sounds made three errors that led to four unearned runs. Another play that wasn?t made allowed Seth Smith to score the winning run when Ryan Spilborghs? line drive with two outs in the eighth inning was lost in the lights by right fielder Callix Crabbe.


Smith, who singled as a pinch-hitter in the sixth, had a two-run single in the eighth.


"I've got to give my team a lot of credit for not giving up,? manager Tom Runnells said. ?We pecked away and that?s what good teams do. With our offense, we?re never out of it.?


The Sky Sox (15-17) earned their first home series sweep since 2003 despite a good performance by Nashville starter Yovani Gallardo, the Milwaukee Brewers? top prospect. The 21-year-old, who leads the PCL in strikeouts, allowed only two singles until the sixth inning, when three straight hits chased him after a season-high 109 pitches.


Sky Sox catcher Edwin Bellorin was 2-for-3 to raise his average to .408. He threw out two of three would-be base stealers, and has nabbed 9 of 13 this season.


In the battle of the Nix brothers ? Jayson for the Sky Sox and Laynce for the Sounds ? both played well while their aunt and uncle, who live in Colorado Springs, watched.


Jayson was 2-for-3 with an RBI, stolen base and run scored. He also played flawlessly on defense and turned a difficult double play.


?If he plays like that, there?s not a better second baseman in the league,? Runnells said. ?If he hits, he?ll play in the big leagues.?


Laynce, 26, is two years older than Jayson and is on a major league contract.


?That?s why he?s buying tonight,? Jayson said with a laugh.


Laynce slugged a three-run homer in the fifth inning. He doubled off the center-field wall in the first, walked and scored in the fourth and walked in the ninth.


Laynce, who is on a rehabilitation assignment from the Brewers, did even better here last year with Oklahoma when on a rehab stint from the Rangers. He was 7-for-17 with three homers in four games.


Nashville Box Score:

Vinny Rottino still raking with a .950 OPS, catcher's interference behind the plate in this one; Jose Capellan also balked in his shaky outing...




Nashville Game Log:

The roster must be really dinged up -- Alec Zumwalt, a former position player, gets the pinch-hit assignment in the 8th over Andy Abad, Joe Dillon, Charles Thomas, and of course, Ryan Braun...



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Link while active, text follows:




Stars come oh-so-close to pitching a no-hitter

Mobile gets hit with two outs in the ninth in loss


Huntsville Times Sports Staff, paul.gattis@htimes.com


So how close can you come to a no-hitter before it says no-no back to you?


You can get two outs in the ninth inning, like the Huntsville Stars did Friday. You can get two strikes on the batter - not once, but twice - like the Huntsville Stars did Friday.


And then when the base hit finally comes, the ball can just elude the defender's diving reach, like the Huntsville Stars did Friday.


Oh, sure, the Stars beat Mobile 2-1 before a school-kid crowd of 7,732 at Joe Davis Stadium.


But more than a win, this was history. Almost.


"Everybody wants to see something like that," said Stars pitcher Lindsay Gulin.


And they almost did - even if the under-10 crowd at the game seemed more interested in grabbing their hot dogs and singing along with SpongeBob SquarePants over the PA system between innings.


The Stars have thrown two no-hitters in their 27-year history but neither came at home.


For want of one more strike, that would have changed Friday.


Gulin, making his first start from the Stars since arriving this week from Triple-A Nashville to replace injured Mike Jones, tossed five no-hit innings and allowed only an unearned run - off his own error, though.


Then reliever Corey Thurman followed with three hitless innings of his own.


Finally, Marino Salas got the first two outs in the ninth, got ahead of Mobile's Cesar Nicolas 0-2 before he worked a walk. And Salas got ahead of Mark Reynolds 1-2 before he laced a fastball into left field - just beyond the reach of third baseman Adam Heether, who went airborne in an attempt to save the no-hitter.


History gone, Salas retired Chris Rahl on a fly ball to right for his seventh save of the season.


"I was just excited to get the win," said Gulin, a 30-year-old left-hander who has thrown no-hitters twice in a minor league career that started in 1995.


Still, so much more was so close.


It wasn't really a beef, but Nicolas took a 2-2 slider from Salas that flirted with the inside corner. If home plate ump Jason Bradley calls it a strike. ...


But he didn't, not did he call a 3-2 fastball that danced just off the corner and Nicolas walked.


"If he calls it, it's a no-hitter," Stars manager Don Money said. "If you don't, you give them another life and the next hitter came through."


Nevertheless, it gave the Stars a second straight win on the heels of losing five of their last six. And it made the nine-hour bus ride to Zebulon, N.C., somewhat easier for the five-game set with the Carolina Mudcats that starts today.


And as much as the none no-hitter will grab the headlines, catcher Carlos Corporan was the forgotten star. Gulin praised the game that Corporan called behind the plate and the catcher doubled in both Stars runs in the fourth inning for the 2-1 lead.


Mobile managed its run without a hit, obviously, in the fourth. Reynolds walked and Rahl reached on a throwing error by Gulin that put runners at first and third.


When Corporan threw to second in an attempt to retire the stealing Rahl, Reynolds stole home.


"It was just fun," Gulin said of the atmosphere in the dugout in the ninth. "There were a couple of close calls for the third strike.


"We just looked at each other like, 'C'mon, just ring him up.' "


Alas, it didn't happen.


"The win is the main thing," Gulin said.


Well, almost.

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David Weiser's





Let's hear it for the kids....... Over 7,700, mostly made up of a sea of youngsters from schools stretching three counties, wearing uniformed t-shirts of red, green, and blue, giving a splash of color to the stadium........ I dare say there weren't probably three of them who knew what was going on, but if I'm wrong, they saw probably the most exciting game of the season when all is said and done at the end of the year........ Lindsay Gulin, making his Stars debut, Corey Thurman, and Marino Salas combined to pitch the 15th one-hitter in Stars history, coming within one strike of pitching the Stars' first no-hitter in their history at Joe Davis Stadium.


The closest anyone had ever come, was not a one-hitter. In fact, it was a heartbreaking 3-1 loss to Mobile on July 14, 2002......... Ben Hendrickson had gone six innings and was relieved by Doug Dent in the 7th and Jack Krawczyk in the 8th. Then, leading off the 9th, Bay Bears leadoff hitter Bobby Scales hit an infield single off Mike Penney. Scales got as far as third, but Mobile failed to score. But for eight innings, the Stars could not cross the plate, either. Then in the 9th, they loaded the bases with none out. Bryan Gaal struck out Jeff Deardorff, then Jason Fox laid down a bunt right in front of the plate with the infield in, and even one outfielder protecting the infield. With Pete Zoccolillo coming down the line, catcher Humberto Quintero easily tagged him out, and then threw to first for a double play...... In the top of the 10th, Penney gave up back-to-back HRs to Darren Blakely and Ben Johnson, and the Stars lost, 2-0.


Fun to see all the former farmhand names; good stuff, David -- Jim (Mass Haas)


The last one-hitter came almost exactly a year ago -- spun by Carlos Villanueva, but his ended before it ever begun -- giving up a 1st inning two-out single to Tennessee's Miguel Montero....... Before Villanueva, there was a seven-inning near miss in 2003........ In 1999, Allen Levrault pitched one, but like Villanueva, he gave up his only hit in the 1st inning against the Diamond Jaxx. Travis Smith took a no-hitter into the 8th on August 31st, and came away with a 3-2 two-hitter over the Diamond Jaxx.


But these games came on the road........ The last one-hitter at Joe Davis Stadium came on June 5, 1993, when Miguel Jimenez and John Briscoe of the A's organization combined to beat Knoxville, 3-0. Mets' outfielder Carlos Delgado broke that up somewhere during the first seven innings....... Two at the Joe preceded that one....... Johnny Guzman went 7 1/3 innings in a 1-0 victory over Knoxville, May 25, 1992, and three weeks prior to that one was Tony Ariola's over Birmingham, the day before he retired from baseball, but the Stars had never taken a no-hitter so close into the 9th.


There have been no-hitters at Joe Davis Stadium, but all three, the last one being in 2004, were all won by the other side.


With the Stars nursing a 2-1 lead in the 9th, Emilio Bonifacio lined a ball to right. It had good wood, but Brendan Katin was right there. An 0-2 pitch to Phil Avlas also went to right, this time, an easy pop-up........ One out away from a no-hitter, Marino Salas got behind on Cesar Nicolas, then worked the count to 3-and-2 and lost him....... With Nicolas on first, Salas got the count on dangerous Mark Reynolds (6-for-9 in the series) to 0-and-2. He threw a back-door slider on the inside that should have gotten him for strike three, but umpire Jason Bradley said no. Reynolds then rapped a liner over the outstretched glove of Adam Heether, falling into left and down the line. Nicolas halted at second...... Chris Rahl then ended the game flying out to right........


A 2-1 Stars victory is good, but everyone's mind was on the no-hit bid that was lost........ But like I said, with a crowd mostly of over 7,000 screaming kids whose only joy was to be out of school, it was lost......... It was not lost on the ushers, the TV photogs, former Mets' 1st baseman Mike Jorgensen sitting in the row in front of me, or myself, however.


Mobile actually had the initial lead in this game....... With two out in the 4th, Lindsay Gulin, the minor league vet who spent two seasons with the Jacksonville Suns, walked Reynolds. Then on 2-and-1, Rahl dropped a bunt to the left of the mound. Gulin dropped the pick-up, and in his hurry to get the speedy Rahl at first, threw wildly over the head of Steve Sollmann, the ball landing in front of the Bay Bears' bullpen area. Katin threw the ball over to third, but not in time to get Reynolds and Rahl took 2nd on the throw....... With Carlos Gonzalez at the plate, a double steal brought Reynolds home to give the Bay Bears a 1-0 lead.


Carlos Corporan gave the Stars their 2-1 lead with a two-out double to left-center, his 3rd in this series, scoring Katin and Mike Carlin...... Katin would have been the third out of the inning, but Mark Reynolds' throw to first drew first baseman Cesar Nicola off the bag for an error. Mobile starter Greg Smith then walked Carlin on eight pitches.


Adam Heether's long running basket catch in foul territory in the 8th off the bat of Ronnie Merrill was the Stars' best defensive play of the game. Heether went all the way to the Stars' bullpen area, finishing with a hop to keep from tripping over the bullpen mound as he made the catch.


The Stars now take to the road -- a long nine-hour trip to Five County Stadium to play the Carolina Mudcats for the first time this season...... Sam Narron (0-3, 4.91) will face right-hander Daniel Barone (1-2, 3.60), Saturday night....... Barone was an 11th round pick of the Marlins in 2004. He's primarily been a reliever in his 70 minor league appearances....... Barone has given up three runs in 13 innings in his last two starts, striking out 11........ Narron, making his third start on the road, has given up six runs on 18 hits in 10 innings away from home and has been battered on the road for a .391 average.


Lindsay Gulin has authored a no-hitter already in his career....... He pitched a complete game 7-0 no-hitter on June 13, 2003, for Class AAA-Las Vegas (PCL) over Tacoma, during which he walked four and fanned seven......... The Stars bullpen continues to shine -- a 1.89 ERA this month with four saves. They finished April with five saves and a 2.67 ERA. The rotation is 3-3 with a 3.86 ERA this month........ Recall the difficulty the Stars had in April getting out of the 1st inning? This month, they've held opponents to two first-inning runs and a .188 average...... In April, Huntsville starters allowed 30 first-inning runs and were pounded for a .389 average.......


Jeff Eure has latched on to the Kansas City Royals' farm team at Class AA-Wichita (Texas) . Thursday, he went 2-for-3, doubled, and drove in three runs in the Wranglers' 6-1 win over Springfield.


Corey Thurman, who threw three no-hit innings of relief, threw four no-hit innings last year in his first start of the season, April 8 against Mississippi. The relief record, unless I miss my guess, is the six no-hit innings turned in by Bob Sharpnack of the A's organization against Charlotte on July 18, 1988 in a 17-inning, 7-4 loss........


Mel Stocker is now on a 1-for-23 slide going back to April 28, his lone hit, a double, coming in Thursday night's abbreviated 8-3 victory........ Steve Sollmann is hitting .210 in May after his fast .362 start in April. We'll see how he does in Carolina. He's hit .381 on the road....... Brendan Katin finished the Mobile series 1-for-15........ Someday, I've got to document the pinch-hitting history of the Stars. This team's bench has to rank among the worst: 5-for-31 (.161) after today........ Laynce Nix is continuing his rehab in Colorado Springs tonight, where Nashville is holding onto a 7-5 lead in the 8th inning (we know how that one ended -- Jim). Nix doubled in his first at-bat and homered in the 5th.


Where are they now? Dave Pember, a 10-game winner in 2002, lives in Huntsville and is a pharmaceutical representative....... Roberto Vaz (A's), who roamed the outfield for the 1998 Stars, is a baseball coach for Grissom High School in Huntsville........ Jorge Brito (A's), who was a catcher in six separate seasons for the Stars, is a players' agent...... Scott Hemond (A's), who played in the majors for Oakland, the White Sox, and St. Louis, and for the Stars from 1987-89, with a rehab stint in 1992, runs a baseball school in Niceville, Florida.

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