Bells Leads Doubledays to Victory

Josh Bell

The Auburn Doubledays (11-11) appeared to be a completely different team tonight pulling out a 9-4 win over the Vermont Expos, the same team that slaughter them 13-2 just one night before. Tonight's victory put the Doubledays back the .500 mark going into the final game of the three game home stand.

Randy Dicken started off the on the mound for the Doubledays and would get the win raising his record to 3-0 in five starts. Dicken began the night a little shaky but regained control and finished his five innings with great control.

"It seems like my first inning or two is a different ballgame and by the third inning I go out there and everything changes and I know I've got to pick it up a little more and that's what I do" said Dicken.

The right-hander is absolutely correct in his assessment as he has allowed eight runs in the first two innings of work this year and just three runs in the third to sixth inning.

Dicken allowed three earned runs on four runs and five hits while giving up his first home run of the season in the third. Dicken walk three batters while striking out seven. As well as having a 3-0 record Dicken has an ERA of only 4.30 and his strikeout to walk ratio now stands at 10.50 per nine innings pitched.

The Doubledays line-up showed up tonight to help their pitcher. Emmanuel Sena reached second on a fielder's choice in the bottom of the first. Later with two outs Nick Thomas got an RBI single to center field to bring home Sena for the Doubledays first run.

By the bottom of the third Auburn had lost their 1-0 lead and now trailed 4-1. The Doubledays then started to rally when left fielder Ryan Patterson, who leads the NY-Penn league in homeruns and is third in RBI's, got a two-out double. Thomas followed with another RBI single to bring home Patterson scoring what would be the first of eight unanswered runs for the Doubledays.

The rally continued in the bottom of the next inning. Josh Bell led off the half-inning with a double and Bruan Pettway followed with a single to put Bell in scoring position. Third baseman Anthony Garibaldi, who was recently activated off the DL, got an RBI single. With Doubledays within a run of tying it up Matt Cooksey came up to the plate. Cooksey has been in an awful slump this season, and just recently achieved his first hit. Cooksey bunted and showed his true speed as his not only advanced the runners but picked himself up a single.

"I've been changing a lot. Everyday I come in and hit for like two, three hours. It's definitely a big relief to get that first hit. I'm definitely starting to feel better now because it's such a big adjustment from metal to wood so I just have to start working the other way and take advantage of my legs," said Cooksey.

Sean Shoffit then came up to bat and would begin the biggest and most bizarre play of the game. Shoffit hit a ground ball to right field which brought home two more runs to put the Doubledays in the lead, but then there was a missed catch error at first and Shoffit took off but got caught in a run down. During the rundown, Cooksey showed his speed and baserunning instincts as he broke for home and reached safely.

"I was a little too over aggressive on the bases but it worked out on my half but I shouldn't have been that aggressive. At least my base runner could advance a base or score like what happened then" said Shoffitt.

The Doubledays comeback continued into the next inning when designated hitter Joey Metropoulos led of with a line drive single to center. Bell then came up and hit his first career home run for the final two runs of the game.

In the sixth Dicken was replaced out of the bullpen by Gabriel Alfaro who held off the Expos for the next three innings allowing only three hits with four strikeouts and no walks. He was finally retired after the eighth brining as Sean Stidfole entered the game and closed it out with one hit and one strikeout, no walks, in the top of the ninth to end the game.

Although the Doubleday have been inconsistent, they show great talent and many players seem to be coming into their own as the season progresses. Back at .500 fans should watch closely to see if the Doubledays can take the series against the Expos tomorrow night before hitting the road for a three game series at Brooklyn.

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