SALLYING FORTH

Fans at the Greenville Drive-Charleston RiverDogs game certainly got more than their money’s worth. Beyond the obvious starpower of new Drive manager Gabe Kapler and Drive starter Jon Lester, they also got an extra-innings pitchers’ duel that lasted for almost 10 innings before Wilmer Pino’s 10th-inning single scored Christopher Malec with the game’s lone run as Charleston won, 1-0.

Lester tossed four innings of one-hit ball striking out five in the start but it was Travis Beazley in relief of the Major Leaguer who really sparkled with five no-hit innings, striking out four. Beazley poted a 2.39 ERA at short-season Lowell in 2006.

Meanwhile in other Sally League action:

The Hickory Crawdads held off the host Hagerstown Suns, 5-4, despite a two-out grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning by Hagerstown second baseman Leonard Davis to put his team right back in the game.

Lakewood made things more respectable than their early 9-0 deficit would have led one to believe, but in the end they still fell to Greensboro, 11-7. The Grasshoppers were led at the plate by outfielder Scott Cousins who went 4-for-5 with two doubles and four RBIs. Almost lost in the offensive firepower was the sparkling start by Greensboro southpaw Graham Taylor who tossed six innings of one-run ball, striking out seven without walking a batter for the win.

Wade Townsend’s comeback from Tommy John surgery put one in the win column for him and his Columbus Catfish as he allowed just two hits in five scoreless innings, walking one and striking out six as the ‘fish beat visiting Kannapolis 6-1.

The Augusta Greenjackets edged the host Rome Braves, 3-1, thanks to yet another great pitching performance from Adam Cowart, who went five innings of four-hit ball for the win. Cowart was the Northwest League Pitcher of the Year in 2006 as he helped lead the Salem-Keizer club to that circuit’s title and the best winning percentage in the Minors.

Lexington rallied to beat visiting Delmarva, 4-2, but pitching was still the name of the game in that one. For the Legends, David Qualben got the win in relief of starter Casey Hudspeth, who allowed just two hits in his six innings of work. For Delmarva, meanwhile, the loss spoiled a fine effort by Pedro Beato who allowed two hits in five scoreless innings, striking out six.

The Toastman of West Virginia had something to cheer about after all as his West Virginia Power rallied to beat Lake County, 4-3, behind the bat of outfielder Michael Brantley. Brantley was 3-for-4 with a double, triple and two RBIs.

Michael Paulk was 3-for-5 and Daniel Mayora and Bret Berglund each drove in a pair of runs as the Asheville Tourists rallied to bear host Savannah, 7-4.

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