Fort Wayne Wizards at Dayton Dragons

April 25th, 2004

Peeter Ramos 2B 4 1 0 0
Drew Macias CF 4 2 2 0
Jordan Pickens 1B 4 2 2 3
George Kottaras C 3 1 1 2
Mark McRoberts RF 4 1 1 2
Ryan Johnson LF 5 0 1 0
William Hogan DH 5 1 0 1
Skip Adams 3B 4 0 1 1
Juan Ciriaco SS 4 2 2 0
Chris Dickerson CF 4 0 1 1
Luis Bolivar SS 3 1 1 0
Joey Votto DH 2 0 0 0
Kyle Smith LF 3 0 0 0
Ryan Fry RF 4 0 2 1
Walter Olmstead 1B 4 0 0 0
Evan Conley 2B 4 1 1 0
Jeff Urgelles C 3 0 0 0
Troy Cairns 3B 4 0 1 0

Fort Wayne 6 0 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 10 10 0
Dayton 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 6 0

LOB FW-6, DAY-7, 2B-McRoberts, Adams, Fry 2, HR-Pickens (Noriega/1st/3 run)

Name IP H R ER BB SO Decison
Jared Wells 4 4 1 1 2 3 ND
Dirk Hayhurst 3 1 0 0 0 3 W (1-0)
Sazi Guthrie 1 1 1 1 2 2 ND
Jake Upwood 1 0 0 0 1 0 ND

Name IP H R ER BB SO Decison
Luis Noriega 0.1 3 6 6 3 0 L (0-1)
Brad George 2.2 1 0 0 0 3 ND
Josh Thigpen 4 6 4 4 2 2 ND
Carlos Guevara 1 0 0 0 0 2 ND
David Shafer 1 0 0 0 0 1 ND

HBP-McRoberts (Noriega), BK-Noriega, PB-Urgelles, SO-Pickens, Kottaras 2, Johnson, Hogan 3, Adams, Dickerson, Votto, Smith 3, Fry, Olmstead, Conley, BB-Ramos, Macias, Pickens, Kottaras 2, Bolivar, Votto 2, Smith, Urgelles
T-2:46, A-8,557
HP-Dixon Struman, BS-Robert Price

Dayton Daily News
by Marc Katz

The first inning flameout was about as unexpected as the sunshine, lack of rain and pleasant breezes wafting through Fifth Third Field on Sunday Afternoon.

In his previous three appearances, Luis Noriega, if not excellent, was at least very good.

Sure, he walked five in his 12 innings, but he also struck out 12 and his ERA was a lovely 1.50. He also had lasted a complete four innings in each of his appearances, either as the game's starter or the first regularly scheduled reliever.

He couldn't get out of the first inning Sunday. he barely got an out before Dayton Dragons manager Alonzo Powell, seeing no more good use to keeping Noriega in, let him walk safely back tot he dugout in what became a 10-2 thrashing by the Fort Wayne Wizards in a Midwest League game that sold 8,557 tickets.

"I wasn't 100 percent," a subdued Noriego said as catcher Jeff Urgelles interpreted. "My pitches were off. My mechanics were off. I was trying to fix it. I was working on it in the bullpen before the game."

Noriege never did figure it out. He walked three, hit one, gave up two hits, including a three run Jordan Pickens homer with no outs, and six runs before Powell called upon Bradley George to end the inning.

Rules dictated the game go nine if possible, and this one did, even if it was all but over in the first.

"He didn't have his rhythm" Powell said, "He was out of sync. The first batter (Peeter Ramos) did his job. He battle him for a walk."

And then?, "He got behind the hitters." Urgelles said. "He just didn't have it. You don't go out every day and have your best stuff."

It was the second straight day the Dragons didn't get a quality start from a pitcher who had been throwing well. Brock Till was Saturday nights victim.

Noriega's start, thought, was the shortest of the season.

"He just had a bad day." said Reds roving pitching coordinator Sammy Ellies, who watched the game from the stands. "We didn't tell him anything before the game that we don't tell everybody. Don't rush down the mound, don't get in a hurry. He was jus out of sync. He's not that bad."

After walking lead off batter Ramos, Drew Macias also walked. Pickens homer, George Kottaras walked and Mark McRoberts was hit by a pitch. When Ryan Johnson singled, the bullpen began to warm up. A force out produced the first out, but also a run. Then Skip Adams doubled home yet another run.

Some late fans listening to the game on the radio on the way to the park probably turned around and went home, which is why there were so many empty seats in the lower grandstand.

"The last thing you want to do is take a pitcher out after one third of an inning." Powell said. "You wreck the bullpen, and you kill a kid's confidence. But I had to take him out. He wasn't showing any mound command."

Pitching coach Larry Pierson did not appear alamard. "He a kid (age 21) and he's not consistent." Pierson said. "If he went out and did well every time out, he wouldn't be here (in Class A), and I wouldn't need to be here. He looked the same as he was throwing every other time."

It might have helped had the Dragons offense put together a few more hits and a few more runs. Instead, they managed only six hits, two of them doubled by Ryan Fry, and added eight strikouts to a Midwest League leading total of 181.

But that's another story.