Sunday, July 1, 2007

Catfish Fall To Savannah, Hold On To First

After winning 5 in a row, the Columbus Catfish were beaten ... badly ... by the Savannah Sand Gnats (Mets), 9-4. Four Savannah home runs, including two by Brahiam Maldonado, did in the Catfish.
Maldonado eclipsed his previous career best of four RBIs, established last July 3 for Kingsport of the Appalachian League. He had a four two-RBI games earlier this season.

"I'm very happy. I've been working on hitting behind the runner and practicing with men in scoring position," Maldonado said though translator and teammate Luis Rivera. "I've never had a day like this before with two home runs, so I'm happy. I've been working hard."

The 21-year-old left fielder connected for a three-run homer off Catfish starter Ryan Morse in the second inning and plated Juan Lagares with a sacrifice fly in the fourth as Savannah took a 7-2 lead.

Maldonado capped his big night with a solo shot, his seventh, off reliever Matt Falk in the seventh. He said the three-run blast was a result of his two-strike approach at the plate.

"It was a 2-2 count and he threw me a fastball inside," Maldonado said. "I had a two-strike approach and just reacted to the fastball."

Quick thinking also aided his second homer.

"[Falk's] first pitch was a fastball I fouled off, so I was ready for another fastball but started thinking about an off-speed pitch," Maldonado said. "He threw me a hanging curve and I reacted."

Maldonado extended his hitting streak to nine games with the first multi-homer game of his career. He said his time in the batting cage with hitting coaches has helped him expand his hitting zone.

Desmond Jennings was 3-for-5 for the Catfish, with a double and a 1st inning home run.

Despite the loss, the Catfish hang on to a piece of first place, tied with Charleston now, thanks to losses by Asheville and Greenville.

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