Fort Wayne Wizards at Battle Creek Yankees

April 12th, 2004

Brian Wahlbrink CF 4 1 2 0
Skip Adams 3B 5 0 1 0
Jordan PickensRF 5 1 1 1
Mark McRoberts LF 3 1 0 0
Fernando Valenzuela 1B 4 1 0 0
Billy Hogan DH 4 1 1 1
Peeter Ramos 2B 4 1 2 2
Colt Morton C 2 0 0 0
Ryan Johnson PR
George Kottaras C
Juan Ciriaco SS 3 0 1 2
Melky Cabrera CF 4 3 1 0
Hector Made SS 5 1 1 2
Eric Duncan 3B 4 0 2 3
Erold Andrus RF 4 0 0 0
Bryce Kartler DH 1 2 0 0
Estee Harris LF 3 1 1 0
Tommy Rojas C 2 1 1 1
John Urick 1B 3 0 1 2
Brito Rodriguez 2B 4 0 1 0

Fort Wayne 0 0 0 4 0 0 1 1 0 6 8 1
Battle Creek 0 1 1 0 2 2 2 0 X 8 8 2

E-Ciriaco, Duncan 2, LOB FW-9, BC-7, 2B-Wahlbrink, Cabrera, Made, Duncan, Rojas, Urick, Rodriguez, 3B-Ramos, HBP-Valenzuela, Duncan, Rojas, SACF-Hogan, Ciriaco, SB-Kartler, CS-Duncan

Name IP H R ER BB SO Decison
Clark Girardeau 4 4 2 2 2 2 ND
Sazi Guthrie 1 2 2 1 1 0 ND
Chuck Bechtel 2 2 4 4 4 1 L (0-1)
Jake Upwood 1 0 0 0 0 2 ND

Name IP H R ER BB SO Decison
Abel Gomez 4.2 4 4 4 3 5 ND
Brandon Harmsen 2.1 1 1 1 1 0 W (1-0)
Brad Blackwell 0 2 1 1 1 0 ND
Paul Thorp 2 1 0 0 0 2 SV (1)

T-2:52, A-551

Battle Creek Enquirer
by Howie Magner

They were finally smiling in the Battle Creek clubhouse on Monday, and it sure wasn't because of the weather.

After starting the season with three straight losses, the Yankees picked up their first win of 2004 with an 8-6 triumph over Fort Wayne on a cold and windy night at C.O. Brown Stadium.

"We got that first one out of the way," said third baseman Eric Duncan, who was 3 for 4 with three RBIs to spark a Yankees offense that scored just twice in its first three games, "Get that first win under your belt and you can go from there."

Hector Made had a two out, two run double in the sixth for Battle Creek and a lucky break turned John Urick's routine pop fly into a decisive two out, two run double in the seventh inning. Urick lofted a pitch from Chuck Bechtel into shallow center, but Fort Wayne outfielder Brian Wahlbrink apparently lost the ball in the lights and it landed some 30 yards in from of him.

"Yeah, I got all of that one right there," joked Urick, whose two RBIs put the Yankees up 8-5, "I'm just glad he didn't see it because we got two runs out of it with two outs."

The Yankees (1-3) needed those runs because Fort Wayne rallied against Battle Creek reliever Brad Blackwell in the top of the eighth. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with nobody out and prompted Yankee manager Mitch Seoane to ask closeer Paul Thorp to get out of the jam.

Thorp responded, letting only one of the runners cross home plate on Juan Ciriaco's sacrifice fly, then pitched a perfect ninth for his first save of the season.

"It would've been better if we'd got out of it with no runs," said Thorp, but the perfectionist pitcher acknowledged that getting the win was the important thing. "Just hopefully, we get two more (wins), sweep these guys, get back to .500 and get rolling."

The Yanks were rolling early, taking their first lead of the season in the second inning on a run scoring double by Tommy Rojas. Duncan upped the lead to 2-0 in the third when his RBI single cashed in Melky Cabrera's on out double, and Duncan later added a two run double in the fifth.

Fort Wayne turned the tables with a four run fourth inning against Battle Creek starting pitcher Abel Gomez who had struck out four consecutive Wizards before his bump in the road.

Gomez survived into the fifth inning, then was relieved by Brandon Harmsen, who got the final out of the frame. Harmsen (1-0) then gave up one run on one hit in the next two innings and got credit for the win, while Bechtel took the loss and fell to 0-1.

Fort Wayne also fell to 0-4 for the season. The same two teams meet today at 6pm and fans can actually make money by watching them play. In addition to giving out free general admission tickets to thegame the Yankees are giving a $1 bill to every fan who shows up.