AIKEN, S.C. – Jesse Krause pitched effectively through 7.2 innings, and Gary Lee bailed out the defense behind him as the Aiken Foxhounds (18-12) held on for a 4-3 victory over the visiting Anderson Joes (6-24) Thursday night at Roberto Hernandez Stadium.
The Foxhounds used a two-out, bloop single to push across the game's first run in the opening inning against Anderson starter Jean Granados. Shortstop Tim Sweeney hit a 3-2 pitch into right-center field which dropped into a gap in between three Joes' fielders. Garth McKinney, who was running on the play, scored easily from first base.
Joe Cuttone led off the second with a double down the right-field line and scored on a double play two batters later for a 2-0 lead.
The Foxhounds chased Grandados (3-2) from the contest in the bottom of the third. Scott Houin led off the frame with his first home run of the season, a line shot to center. Garth McKinney followed with a double to left forcing Anderson manager Desi Wilson to pull his starter. Aiken's Bradley Key greeted reliever Daniel Howard with an RBI single to right for a 4-0 lead.
The game remained 4-0 over the next four innings as Krause and Howard pitched effectively. Howard worked 4.0 innings, allowing just four hits while walking two and striking out seven.
Krause (3-2) allowed just four hits and held the Joes scoreless through 7.2 innings when a throwing error by Sweeney allowed the visitors to plate their first run and ended Krause's night. The right-hander walked just two and struck out five in the outing.
Things got interesting in the top of the ninth as reliever Gary Lee attempted to close out the game. After Richard Quihuis-Bell doubled to lead off the inning, the Foxhounds defense committed three errors and misplayed a potential game-ending double play ball, cutting the margin to 4-3 as two runs scored.
With two outs and runners on the corners, Lee induced a fly ball off the bat Hector Borg to finally end the game. The right-hander recorded his first professional save, pitching 1.1 innings and allowing two unearned runs on one hit.
Houin went 2-for-5 with the home run, and McKinney recorded three hits in four at-bats for the Foxhounds.
Quihuis-Bell went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles for the Joes.