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Moultrie Mashes: Bulldogs redshirt shows off bat for Aviators

SUN-STAR PHOTO BY BEA AHBECK
Atwater Aviators' #6 Phil Mannelly scores a run as Lodi's pitcher #24 Drew Oldfield gets ready to catch the ball during  their game in Atwater, Calif. Tuesday, July 7, 2009.
SUN-STAR PHOTO BY BEA AHBECK Atwater Aviators' #6 Phil Mannelly scores a run as Lodi's pitcher #24 Drew Oldfield gets ready to catch the ball during their game in Atwater, Calif. Tuesday, July 7, 2009. Merced Sun-Star

Danielle Moultrie was eager to get back on the baseball diamond this summer.

The former Clovis West star spent his spring red-shirting at Fresno State.

"It was tough seeing your teammates play," Moultrie said. "All you can do is go out and support them.

"You always want to play."

Moultrie showcased his talent on Tuesday night by going 3 for 3 with three RBIs to lead the Atwater Aviators to a 9-2 win over the Lodi Baseball Club at Memorial Ballpark.

The Aviators let fans in free on Tuesday night and drew over 100 fans out to the ballpark.

The crowd watched Moultrie come up with key hits almost every time his stepped to the plate.

"I came up in situations where I just needed to put the ball in play," Moultrie said. "You want to help your team out and I did my job."

The Aviators (18-9) jumped on Lodi starter Jordan Mills for five runs in the first inning.

The Jesuit High pitcher loaded the bases with no outs on two walks and a hit batter.

Ryan Lang made Mills pay with a two-run double and Moultrie later drove in a run with an infield single.

"I like Danielle in that nine-hole," Atwater coach Rollo Adams said. "He's like having another leadoff hitter.

"He's put the ball in play while I've been here. I like what I've seen from him."

The runs were more than enough for Aviators starter Troy Marks.

The Fresno City right-hander dominated Lodi's hitters.

Marks gave up just single runs in the first and third innings. He struck out seven and walked just two hitters in seven innings of work.

"He had live velocity on his fastball," Adams said. "His changeup was outstanding.

"I felt he was in complete control out there tonight."

The Aviators put the game away with three runs in the sixth inning off of Lodi reliever Rick Patton.

Again, Moultrie was in the middle of the rally.

With one out, Anthony Potter and Phil Mannelly hit back-to-back singles.

Moultrie then singled in Potter to put the Aviators ahead 6-2.

Moultrie then stole second and drew a throw, which allowed Mannelly to steal home as part of a double steal.

David Rohm then doubled in Moutrie for the third run of the inning.

Moultrie added an RBI single in the eighth to finish off his night. He also finished with two stolen bases.

Moultrie was lucky to find a summer team after the team he was originally going to play for cancelled its season.

"One of my old high school teammates told me about this team and I'm glad I came to play," he said.

"It's been a lot of fun. It's just fun being able to play baseball again."

Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star sports reporter. He can be reached at 385-2462 or via e-mail at sjansen@mercedsun-star.com.

AVIATORS 9, LODI 2

At Memorial Ballpark

Lodi 101 000 000 -- 2 6 2

Aviators 500 003 01X -- 9 9 0

Jordan Mills, Rick Patton (6), Mark Lincoln (8) and Drew Oldfield; Troy Marks, Sean Fasig (7) and Mick Morreale. WP -- Marks. LP -- Mills.

LODI -- Dustin Torchio (2B), Tanner Moore (2B, 2 RBI).

AVIATORS -- David Rohm (2B, RBI), Ryan Lang (2B, 2 RBI), Danielle Moutrie 3-3 (3 RBI).

Record: Aviators 18-9.

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