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Starting pitcher Curtis Camilli had his best outing of the season Monday evening when he chalked up 11 strikeouts over eight innings to lead the home standing Edinburg Roadrunners to a 7-2 plucking of the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings. With the victory, Camilli improved his season record to 3-1 in this his first season with the Roadrunners.
Edinburg (11-13) led off the scoring in the bottom of the second inning when right fielder Carlton Salters reached first on a single and advanced to second on a throwing error. A fielder's choice allowed Salter to move to third before first baseman Trevor Whyte brought him home on an RBI single to make the score 1-0.
The Roadrunners doubled their lead in the fifth inning when center fielder Bobby Rinard lined a lead-off triple into left-centerfield and Salters drove him in with his second hit of the game.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Whyte reached on a double and designated hitter Tylor Prudhomme coaxed a walk to set the stage for catcher Dan Coury who hit his first homerun since joining the Edinburg squad less than two weeks ago by launching an A.J. Smouse pitch into the left field bullpen. Coury's blast made the score 5-0 in favor of the Roadrunners.
Edinburg went on to score two additional runs in the seventh inning to up their lead to 7-0 before Rio Grande Valley got on the scoreboard with a run in the eighth and another in the ninth, making the final score 7-2.
As impressive as the Roadrunners' offensive onslaught against the Whitewings Monday evening was, it was Camilli's performance on the mound that earned him praises.
"The key to Camilli's performance tonight was pretty simple," said Roadrunners' pitching coach Steve Maye. "He was around the plate, he threw great strikes, he mixed up his pitches really, really well and he had great command of the strike zone. It was a pleasure to watch a game like that. He keeps that up and we might not have him much longer."
"If you look at his fast ball, it was in the 91 to 93 miles per hour range," added Maye. "There were a couple of 94's every now and then but that's a heck of a performance. For a young kid with a great arm, you can't ask for anything better than that."
Camilli, who pitched for New Mexico in the Pecos League last year after finishing up his college career at Lee University in Tennessee, was pleased with his performance on the mound.
"It was definitely my best outing of the season," said Camilli. "My arm was a little sore my first couple of starts, but I've had some good rest and this was the first time I've gone eight innings."
As a result of his 11 strikeout performance Monday evening, Camilli received more than praise from his coaches and high-fives from his teammates. As is the tradition at Roadrunners' games, a bucket is passed around the bleachers for fans to express their appreciation for a job-well-done by reaching into their pockets and giving out of the goodness of their hearts anytime a home pitcher reaches the seven strike-out mark and again if he attains the elusive 11 strike-out plateau.
This is one of the ways Roadrunners' fans can take part in the wholesome and family-friendly atmosphere at the games. Edinburg team manager Ozzie Canseco would like to see more Valley residents come out and enjoy Roadrunners' games.
"It's a great family atmosphere," said Canseco. "We've got a good club out here with a good mix of young and veteran players. We have a diverse ethnic background of players out here as well and it's an exciting club that I wish more fans would come out to support because we could really use it."
Monday night's win over Rio Grande Valley was just the fourth game in the Roadrunners' current 20 game home stand. Canseco's squad will be finishing up a four-game series against the Alexandria Aces tonight before starting a four-game series against the Ft. Worth Cats tomorrow. The Aces will be back in town for another four-game set Wednesday June 26-29, and the McAllen Thunder will be Edinburg's final opponents during their longest home stand of the season when they visit Edinburg Baseball Stadium for a four-game series June 30 through July 3.
All Roadrunners home games are scheduled to start at 7:05 pm. Tickets can be purchased online at www.etix.com or by visiting the Edinburg Baseball Stadium, located at 920 N. Sugar Road in Edinburg, weekdays between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased with a credit card by calling (956) 380-4446.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.