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Alexandria didn’t play like the Continental Baseball League’s best team Thursday at George Dobson Field—the Texarkana Gunslingers did. <br />Right-hander Nick Sottung benefitted from Texarkana’s 14-hit attack as the Gunslingers moved within one game of first place in the CBL by dominating the Aces, 9-2. The Aces also committed four errors, while the ‘Slingers only miscue came in the ninth with two outs. <br />Third baseman Justin Armiger led the Gunslingers’ offense with two doubles and a single, scoring three runs and driving home two. Corey O’Neill had three hits, while Darryl Stanfield and Josh Fester contributed two hits each for the winners. <br />The Gunslingers (12-8) captured the lead early with two runs in the second. <br />O’Neill legged out an infield hit with one out, moving up when Armiger worked Alexandria starter Rhett Barber for a free pass on a 3-2 offering. Stanfield hit the next pitch off the wall in left-center, but O’Neill stopped at third, because he got a late jump waiting to see if the ball was caught. <br />Shortstop Fester followed with a drive to right for a single that scored O’Neill and Armiger. Barber escaped further damage by striking out catcher Adam Harvey. <br />Alexandria (13-7) cut its deficit in half in the fourth. Johnny Klopfer drew a one-out walk, and moved up on Gabe Memmert’s grounder to first. He scored two pitches later when former Gunslinger Nick Encisco singled to center. <br />Texarkana had Barber in serious trouble with the bases loaded and nobody out in the fourth, but the crafty southpaw got out of the inning, allowing only one run on a wild pitch. <br />Armiger doubled to right-center to start the Gunslingers’ fourth, and held second as Stanfield got his second hit of the game on a slow dribbler towards shortstop. Fester followed with a bunt single to load the bases. Armiger scored two pitches later on an errant throw to the plate, but Barber got Harvey on strikes again; Clint Toomey on a shallow fly to right; and Bryan Burke on a grounder to second for the third straight time. <br />Sottung only had two strikeouts during the first five innings, both vs. Rafael Rodriguez. The second one came in the fifth with two outs and two runners aboard. <br />Barber finally got knocked from the hill in the fifth. <br />Trey George grabbed a share of the CBL lead in home runs to start the frame with a blast over the Cable One sign in left. George also now leads the league with 21 RBI. Brad Menadier hammered the next pitch to center for a single. O’Niell laid a bunt down the third base line, which Barber fielded and threw into right field foul territory, allowing Menadier to circle the bases. O’Neill stopped at third, scoring four pitches later when Armiger lined another double to right-center. <br />Armiger scored for the third time after consecutive grounders to third off reliever Will Krout. <br />Klopfer scored again in the sixth after smashing a double off the wall in left-center. He moved up on Memmert’s grounder to first, and Encisco got his second RBI with a slow grounder to second that made it 7-2. <br />Two infield errors by the Aces in the sixth led to two unearned runs. One scored when O’Neill singled off the second baseman’s glove, and the other on an infield hit by Armiger. <br />Sottung was replaced by Jordan McCavitt to start the seventh. The Gunslingers’ starting pitcher allowed five hits, walking two and striking out two. McCavitt struck out three of the four Aces he faced in the seventh, walking Eric Padilla, who was the only Alexandria player with two hits. <br />Bryce Klinesteker went to the mound in the eighth for the Gunslingers. <br /> <br />Alexandria 000 101 000 — 2 7 4 <br />Texarkana 020 142 00x — 9 14 1 <br />Rhett Barber, Will Krout (5), Edwin Vazquez (8) and Nick Encisco; Nick Sottung, Jordan McCavitt (7), Bryce Klinesteker (8) and Adam Harvey, Phil St. Amant (8). WP-Sottung (3-1);LP-Barber (3-1. HR: Tex-Trey George, 5th, none on. <br />A-206.
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