Blue Sox win on fan appreciation night

Published 9:13 pm Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Blue Sox showed a big crowd some strong hitting in a 15-7, five inning victory over the Austin Athletics on Blue Sox fan appreciation night in Marcusen Park Sunday.

The game was called in the fifth inning due to rain.

The Blue Sox (8-11 overall) got a first inning two-run homer from Pat Wolard and Duell Higbe added a two-run bomb of his own in the second inning to give the Blue Sox a 9-0 lead.

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The Blue Sox finished with nine hits off of Athletics starter MacEagon Voyce.

“I didn’t think it was going out,” Higbe said of his homer. “He left his splitter up a couple of times and we took advantage of it. Our bats are coming together after struggling for a bit.”

On the mound, Andy Swank was solid as he allowed just one hit in three innings of work. It was Swank’s second appearance on the mound for the Blue Sox this season.

“It felt pretty good out there,” Swank said. “I was surprised. My changeup hadn’t worked in the bullpen but it worked out there tonight.”

The Athletics (3-9 overall) pulled to within 12-7 in the top of the fourth when they racked up six of their seven hits off of Blue Sox reliever Nate Johnson. Brendan McCabe had a big blast for the A’s as he hit a wind-aided grand slam off of the left field scoreboard.

“That was probably a pop up that would normally be right to the left fielder and he wouldn’t of had to move,” McCabe said. “But there was a gust of wind and it was complete luck. It was still a lot of fun and I had to redeem myself for (dropping a fly ball) in the inning before.”

The A’s scored two more in the fourth on a two-run single by Josh Evans.

McCabe said it was big for the younger A’s to find some offense against the veteran Blue Sox.

“It meant a lot,” he said. “I was just thinking we can’t be shutout.”

In the bottom of the fourth, the Blue Sox scored on singles by Steven Rizzi and T.J. Parlin.

In the middle of the fourth, the rain picked up and there was a short delay before the game was shortened to five innings.

“It was hard to see, especially at the plate with the bugs,” Higbe said. “It wasn’t exactly what you wanted for fan appreciation night but it was a good crowd. So it was too bad we couldn’t play a full game.”

The Blue Sox will travel to Owatonna Friday for a 7 p.m. game.

Blue Sox 15, Athletics 7

Blue Sox pitching: Andy Swank (W), 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K; Nate Johnson, 1 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 7 ER; Brady Banse, 1 IP, 0 R, 1 HBP, 1 K

Blue Sox hitting: Nate Johnson, 1-of-3, BB, 2 R; Aaron Port, 0-of-2, RBI; Andy Swank, 1-of-1, double, 2 RBIs, 2 R, BB; Pat Wolard, 1-of-3, HR, 3 RBIs, R; Duell Higbe, 1-of-2, HR, 2 RBIs, 2 R; Jason Denzer, 1-of-2, double, R; Casey Toops, 1-of-1, RBI, R, SB; Steven Rizzi, 1-of-2, 2 R, BB; Sam Stier, 0-of-1, 2 R; T.J. Parlin, 1-of-2, RBI, R; Brady Klingfus, 0-of-1, BB; Joe Huffman, 1-of-1

Athletics pitching: MacEagon Voyce (L), 4 IP, 9 H, 4 BB, 15 R, 12 ER, 2 K

Athletics hitting: Tom Kramer, 0-of-2, R, BB; Winston Smith, 1-of-2, R, BB; Josh Evans, 2-of-3, 2 RBIs, R; Brian Voigt, 1-of-3, RBI, R; Derek Emanual, 0-of-2, BB; Brendan McCabe, 1-of-2, HR, 4 RBIs, R, SB; Kody Retterath, 1-of-3; Zach Koster, 1-of-3; MacEagon Voyce, 0-of-2