ZEPHYRS 4, ISOTOPES 3
Juan Diaz’s pinch-hit, two-out opposite-field single to left field scored Derek Dietrich from third base with the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning on Wednesday at Zephyr Field.
The victory was New Orleans’ third in a row vs. Albuquerque, clinching a series victory for the first time since May 3 vs. Memphis at Zephyr Field. The teams play the series finale Thursday.
The Zephyrs (23-21) have won four of their past five games. The Isotopes (18-29) have lost five straight.
Dietrich led off with a walk and advanced on Brandon Bantz sacrifice bunt. However, the Zephyrs were aided by Albuquerque shortstop Angelys Nina error on a two-out grounder by center fielder Isaac Galloway. Diaz followed with his hit. Nina was a late replacment at shortstop for Christian Adames, who did not play.
Nick Wittgren pitched the ninth for his fourth save.
The Z’s led 2-0 before the Isotopes (18-29) scored their first run in 27 2/3 innings when third baseman Tim Smalling beat out an infield hit, scoring Kyle Parker from third.
The Lehigh University baseball team took in Wednesday’s game at Zephyr Field.
Lehigh is competiting in the NCAA regional baseball tournament this weekend at LSU’s Alex Box Stadium. However, Isotopes outfielder Matt McBride played on the Mountain Hawks’ 2006 team, which is the last time Lehigh played in a regional.
“It was an absolute quirk that we are playing in Baton Rouge and they were in (New Orleans),” said Coach Sean Leary, who is in his 20th year at Lehigh. “So we decided to look him up.”
McBride was drafted in the second round in 2006. O’Leary said they not only stay in touch, but he sees him all the time.
“He was our best player,” Leary said. “He still lives in Bethlem (Pa., where the campus is). He works out with the guys all the time.”
When McBride singled to center with two out in the fourth inning, there was an audible cheer from the contingent. He also singled in the sixth. McBride, whose 12-game hitting streak ended Tuesday night, came into the game batting .328 with five home runs.
When second baseman Derek Dietrich started a 4-6-3 douple play in the top of the fourth inning, it was his 27th this season, tops in the Pacific Coast League. He was sent down last season to work on fielding, specifically his throw to the shortstop covering second to start the double play. … Tuesday’s doubleheader shutout was the first in Zephyrs history. … Opponents are batting .227 (29-for-128) against Pat Misch after his two-hit shutout in the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader. Although the game was seven innings because it was part of a doubleheader, it was his first complete game since June 19, 2011 at Buffalo against Norfolk and the first complete game by a Zephyrs pitcher (J.D. Martin) since Aug. 28, 2012. The complete-game shutout was Misch’s first since May 15, 2010 (also Buffalo vs. Norfolk) and was the first of at least seven innnings by a Zephyrs pitcher since July 29, 2011 (Chris Volstad vs. Iowa). … Second baseman/outfielder Jordany Valdespin said he changed his number from 1 to 10 because he has worn No. 1 in the Major Leagues and he wants to reserve it for playing at that level. He said he wanted No. 7, which he wore last season with the Zephyrs, but it was taken by second baseman Derek Dietrich.