Bats complete sweep in a romp, 11-6 [Sports]

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The Louisville Bats completed their offensive onslaught of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees Thursday night. The Bats tied a season high with 11 runs and belted out 14 hits in an 11-6 romp to complete a four-game sweep of the Yankees. A crowd of 9,740 saw the Bats put the finishing touches on their first four game winning streak of the season.

The Bats also tied a season high for runs in an inning, scoring six times in the second. After Paul Janish walked, Bill Rhinehart belted a two-run home run that landed on the patio deck in right field to tie the game at two.

After three straight singles from Cody Puckett, Daryl Jones, and Joey Gathright following the homer, Kristopher Negron doubled in a pair of runs to give the Bats a 4-2 lead. An RBI groundout from Mike Costanzo and an RBI single from Dioner Navarro made it 6-2. The Bats loaded the bases again with two outs but Bill Rhinehart struck out ending the frame.

The six-run inning was a terrific response to the Yankees getting two runs in the very first inning on Kevin Russo’s two-run single.

After the Bats’ big inning, the Yankees attempted to fight back with an RBI single from Branyan to make it 6-3 in the fifth.

Paul Janish responded immediately for the Bats in the bottom half of the fifth with a leadoff home run to make it 7-3. It was Janish’s third home run of the year and first since a two homer game April 5.

The Bats added one more in the fifth on an odd double steal. With runners at the corners and one out, Daryl Jones got caught in a pickle between first and second on a steal attempt. Puckett took off for home and got caught in a pickle of his own but managed to get out of the jam and scored on the play. Puckett was credited a steal of home that extended the Bats’ lead to 8-3.

“I actually got off a little too far,” Puckett said. “I stayed in long enough, they made a mistake, and I got home.”

An RBI double from Janish and two-RBI single from Puckett in the sixth pushed the Bats’ lead to 11-3.

The Bats, who have struggled offensively this season hammered out 29 runs on 44 hits in the series against Scranton.

“We saw (the offense) coming a little bit earlier (in the season),” Bats manager David Bell said. “We weren’t having a lot of success there for a while but we continued to stay after it.”

Puckett, who went 3-for-4 Thursday, finished the series against Scranton by going 9-for-13 with six RBIs. Puckett raised his season average from .189 to .250 in the series.

“We know he can play,” Bell said. “He plays good defense. We’re starting to see what he can do offensively, too.”

The Yankees scored three runs off Carlos Fisher in the ninth to make the final 11-6. The runs in the ninth were the only runs the Yankees scored in the series against the Bats’ bullpen.

The Bats completed their first four-game sweep since June 2 of last season when they completed a sweep of the Syracuse Chiefs. It is their first ever four game sweep of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

The Bats take the road for an eight game road trip that begins Friday in Pawtucket. The Bats are scheduled to send Pedro Villarreal (2-4, 3.86 ERA) to the mound against the Red Sox’s All Star hopeful Brandon Duckworth (7-1, 3.69 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.