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Indians Rally Late, Can’t Complete Comeback

Wednesday morning’s 11:00 a.m. start for the Indianapolis Indians marked the final of three “Baseball in Education” days at Victory Field this year. The more than 10,000 IPS students on hand learned how to apply their math and science skills in answering baseball related questions throughout the game. They also learned that you can’t allow a good team like the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees to get out to a big lead if you want to win. The visiting squad jumped out to an early 7-0 lead before theTribe could score, and the Indians lost 7-5.

It looked easy early for Indianapolis starter Mike Crotta, (5.0 IP, 12 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO) who retired the visitors 1-2-3 in the top of the first. But as the second inning started, so too did the offense of the Yankees. Both right fielder David Winfree and DH Jon Weber singled to start the inning. Winfree, who was standing on third, scored the games first run as catcher Jesus Montero grounded into a double play.

Scranton/Wilkes Barre added a second run in the frame after first basemen Chad Huffman double to right field, and scored on a single from center fielder Reid Gorecki. The Triple-A affiliate of the Yankees added one more run in the third inning, and carried a 3-0 lead into the sixth inning.

While Scranton/Wilkes Barre had their bats heating up on the offensive side, nobody was as hot as starting pitcher Romulo Sanchez, (6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 6 BB, 7 SO) who was wild, but affective. Sanchez, a one-time member of the Indy Indians organization, came into the Wednesday’s game pitching better than his 1-2 record and 5.34 ERA would have you believe. He had pitched back-to-back seven inning, one run appearances in each of his last two starts.

While he surrendered six walks to the Indianapolis Indians, he only gave up one hit in his six innings of work Wednesday, and that lone hit did not come until the bottom of the fourth inning with two outs when Indians right fielder Brandon Moss shot a single between the first and second basemen.

The Yankees added four more runs in the top of the sixth inning on a two-run single by Huffman, a one-run triple by Gorecki and a single from second basemen Reegie Corona.

It looked as though we had a laugher on our hands until the home team Indians showed some fight in the bottom of seventh with two-runs of their own. Catcher Eric Kratz singled to start the inning, and moved to third on a double by left fielder Kevin Melillo. Shortstop Argenis Diaz broke up the shutout by singling home Kratz for the Tribes first run. Melillo moved to third on the Diaz single and later scored on a sacrifice fly from Indians center fielder Jose Tabata.

Third basemen Pedro Alvarez doubled with one out in the home-half of the eight inning, and scored on a two-out, two-run home run to the absolute deepest part of Victory Field-418 feet to dead center–off the bat of Moss again. With a 7-4 lead, all the Indianapolis sport fans that stayed were hoping for improbable but not unbelievable come from behind win at The Vic.

Unfortunately, it was a case of close but no cigar for the Indianapolis Indians in the bottom of the ninth. Melillo got the inning started with a double to right field and later scored on a Tabata ground out to make it a 7-5 ball game. After second basemen Neil Walker doubled to left field, the tying run came to the plate in the body of first basemen Brian Myrow, but just as the mighty Casey once did, Myrow struck out to end the game.

The Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees closer Jonathan Albaladejo (1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 SO) was credited with the save, and now has an International League leading 12 for the season. The win moves the Yankees overall record to 24-15 while the Indianapolis Indians slide back to 21-19 on the season.

Wednesday’s day game marked the last of three “Baseball in Education Days,” presented by IUPUI that the Tribe hosted this season. The goal of the BIE games is to present education in Indianapolis to students of the Indianapolis Public School system in a manor that both engages and entertains.

Students participating in the BIE program at Victory Field are given questionnaire booklets as they enter the stadium which are filled with game related questions that call upon the student’s learning skills in subjects like math, science and social studies. Each booklet is created in conjunction with the Indiana Department of Education to guarantee the subject matter is pertinent.

EXTRA GAME NOTES

  • Left fielder Kevin Lelillo continued his hot hitting on Wednesday as he posted a 2-for-3 afternoon with two doubles and a walk to improve his batting average to an impressive .364 in the limited action he has seen so far this season. While Melillo has made a career out of playing in the infield, he looked like a well seasoned outfield veteran in the sixth inning as he climbed the wall and robbed an extra-bases hit from the Yankees in front of the video board in left field.
  • With the loss, the Indians stay in third place in the International League’s West Division and find themselves 3.5 games behind division leading Columbus and 1.5 games behind second place Toledo.
  • Wednesday’s game was broadcast nationally on MLB network with Indians TV and radio announcers Howard Kellman and Scott McCauley giving calling the play-by-play.