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NEWS | June 7, 2007

BASEBALL: Bad start foils Warhawks

By Raymond V. Whelan 37th Training Wing Public Affairs Office

They trailed by a large margin after a disastrous first inning, and they never caught up.

The Lackland Warhawks Varsity Baseball Team lost 9-4 to the Red Sox though nine innings June 3 at the University of the Incarnate Word Sullivan Field.

Lackland is now 2-6 in the San Antonio Men's Senior Baseball League (Open Division).

Warhawks starting pitcher Nathan Zimmerman gave up eight runs on three hits and five walks and retired only one batter before he made an early exit during the top of the first inning.

Later, Zimmerman told Lackland coach Davin Dukes the mound was soggy, and the wet sand hurt his footing.

"(Zimmerman) got out of his rhythm," Dukes added.

Red Sox starting pitcher Bernard Pena also experienced early trouble as he faced the Warhawks lineup during the home first.

After Lackland catcher Andrew Taylor grounded out, Pena walked shortstop Dominic Ortega, right fielder Fabian Salazar and first baseman Justin Ailor to load the bases. Ortega scored as center fielder Keith Simon hit into a fielder's choice. Salazar and Simon scored on a single by second baseman Richard McDonald.

Lackland was behind 8-4 after they added another run during the second. Third baseman Miguel Jimenez singled. Relief pitcher Jose Isales walked. Zimmerman remained in the game as an extra hitter, and he singled to load the bases. Jimenez scored after Taylor hit a sacrifice fly to center field.

The Warhawks produced few fireworks beyond the second inning.

With nobody on base and one out during the fourth, Jimenez hit his second single off Pena and stole second base. While Pena retired the next two Lackland batters, Jimenez was stranded at second.

Felix Renta relieved Pena at the start of the fifth inning, and the lanky right-hander held Lackland to just one hit through the eighth, another single by Jimenez during the seventh. After Jimenez again stole second, Renta retired the next three Lackland batters.

On the bright side for Lackland, Isales held the Red Sox to one unearned run on three hits and no walks through 7 2/3 innings. Also, the crafty southpaw struck out six.

Red Sox second baseman Jason Pusick poked a pitch over the outside corner from Isales and got on base with an opposite field triple to right-center field during the eighth inning. An outfield error permitted Pusick to score and put the Red Sox up 9-4.

Ailor pitched the top of the ninth inning and struck out two for Lackland.

During the bottom of the ninth, Roland Perales relieved Renta, and the Warhawks got one more hit, as Simon delivered a solid smack to left-center field for a stand-up double.

Next, the Warhawks play the Indians June 8, 7 p.m., at Warhawk Field.