Caps extend win streak to 10

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Plaza Tire rallied for a 5-3 victory over Fairview Heights.

Southeast Missourian

The Plaza Tire Capahas made sure that they will enter the National Baseball Congress World Series with a full head of steam.

The Capahas rallied past the visiting Fairview Heights (Ill.) Redbirds 5-3 Wednesday night in their final regular-season action of the season, pushing their winning streak to 10 games.

Plaza Tire (24-6) will play the San Francisco Angels at 10 p.m. Monday in Wichita, Kan., as it makes its 24th consecutive NBC World Series appearance.

"We're playing pretty good, and that's what you want going into the tournament," Capahas manager Jess Bolen said.

Added center fielder Bryan Kurt: "It's nice to have a good streak going into Wichita. We've been playing solid and hopefully we can keep it up."

Plaza Tire swept three games from the Redbirds this year, but all three contests were close, including Wednesday's affair at Capaha Field.

The Capahas trailed 3-2 after six innings and needed a three-run seventh -- despite having just one hit in the frame -- to take the lead for good.

"All three games against them were really good," Bolen said. "They play pretty good ball, and they're the type of team that is good for us to play.

Plaza Tire had just six hits to nine for Fairview Heights, but the Capahas used wood bats while the Redbirds swung with aluminum.

"You'd always like to be hitting better, but their pitcher was pretty decent," Bolen said. "And it's tough to beat somebody when they're using aluminum and you're using wood."

Levi Olson's two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning put the Capahas ahead for good.

Lance Seasor and Kurt walked with one out, and they were still on first and second with two outs before Olson grounded a ball just inside the third-base line. Olson was also able to score on a throwing error.

"I had been having trouble staying back on the ball," said Olson, who had been hitless in three at-bats prior to his decisive blast. "It's good to keep the [winning] streak going heading to Wichita."

The Capahas used six pitchers, by design, with only Matt Stroup -- who has been one of the squad's top hurlers this summer -- giving up considerable damage to the Redbirds.

Stroup, who worked the fifth inning, allowed four hits and three runs as the Redbirds grabbed a 3-1 lead.

"Matt has really been pitching well," Bolen said. "That's the hardest he's probably been hit all year."

Dusty Renfrow, Plaza Tire's fourth pitcher, got the win with two innings of two-hit ball. He struck out four.

Starter Chad Bogenpohl pitched two perfect innings. Derek Herbig allowed two hits in two innings, with three strikeouts and two walks.

Jason Chavez, the Capahas' fifth hurler, worked a perfect eighth. Josh Parham allowed a hit and a walk in the ninth but fanned two and earned a save.

"We wanted to get a lot of guys some work," Bolen said.

Bryan Ingram had two hits for the Capahas.

Jerry Hodges and John Campbell both had two hits for the Redbirds. Will Lawrence took the loss, allowing six hits and five runs -- four earned -- in seven innings. He fanned seven but was hurt by seven walks.

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