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"Above Average" Wings beat Syracuse 6-1


The Rochester "Average Red Wings" topped the Syracuse "Purple Cobras" 6-1 on Dodgeball Night Friday at Frontier Field. The teams meet again Saturday night for Red Wings Hall of Fame Night  honoring Rich Dauer, with fireworks after the game.
Rochester was able to manufacture a run in the first inning against Syracuse starter Corey Oswalt. Drew Maggi reached first on a perfectly placed bunt down the third base line to lead off the inning, and advanced to third after Mets third baseman Arismendy Alcantara made a throwing error on a groundball hit by Willians Astudillo in the next at bat. With runners on first and third, Ramon Flores grounded into a double play that allowed Maggi to cross the plate and give the Wings a 1-0 lead.
Rochester starter Devin Smeltzer settled into the game quickly, striking out the first two batters of the game and pitching a quick first inning.
The Wings were able to tack on another run in the bottom of the second with a solo home run into the Red Wings' bullpen in right off the bat of Zander Wiel. His 24th home run of the season and his third in the last four games put Rochester out in front 2-0. The home run also extended Wiel's on-base streak to 19 games.
Smeltzer finished his outing after throwing 2.0 innings, allowing just one hit, no runs, and striking out three. 20 of his 27 pitches were for strikes. He was relieved by Zack Littell who threw a scoreless third inning.
Maggi made another bid to become a leadoff base runner with a hit into center that was robbed by an impressive diving catch by New York Mets rehabbing outfielder, Brandon Nimmo.
Brusdar Graterol entered the game to pitch for Rochester in the top of the fourth and threw a perfect inning with two strike outs.
Rochester brought another reliever into the game for the top of the fifth. Sam Clay came on in relief and began pitching in the top of the fifth.
Syracuse was able to put their first run of the game on the board in the top of the sixth. Sam Haggerty led off the inning with a triple into the right-center gap and came in to score on a single by Dilson Herrera making the score 2-1.
After walking Flores and giving up a single to Wilin Rosario, Syracuse made a move to the bullpen to replace Oswalt who finished with a line of 5.1 innings pitched, four hits, two runs, one earned run, two walks, and five strikeouts. He threw 86 pitches, 55 for strikes. Donnie Hart entered the game in relief of Oswalt and got Alejandro De Aza to ground into a fielder's choice to put runners on first and third. In the next at bat, Brandon Barnes hit a single to right field that brought Flores in from third, and was misplayed by Rhymer Liriano allowing De Aza to score making it a 4-1 game.
Clay pitched 2.0 innings of one-run ball and walked the first batter of the seventh inning before Rochester went to the bullpen and brought in Trevor Hildenberger who pitched the rest of the inning without letting the leadoff base runner score.
The Wings added some insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth. Astudillo reached first on a single, moved to second on a wild pitch, and came in two score on a double crushed into the gap by De Aza. Barnes slapped a single to left in the next at bat, bringing in De Aza from second and extending Rochester's lead to 6-1.
After Hildenberger threw 2.0 scoreless innings, Ryne Harper came on to pitch the ninth, who found himself in a jam with the bases loaded, but was able to work his way out of it without giving up any runs and closed out the game.  

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