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Cleveland Indians

Aeros Go Down 2-0 in Trenton on Controversial Play at the Plate

By sstorm Published: September 12, 2007

With travel making this trip interesting to say the least - here's an early look at the story that will run in the Beacon Thursday.

TRENTON, N.J. - Wyatt Toregas lay on the trainers table clutching his stomach, his face twisted in pain, a half-empty plastic bottle of grape Pedialyte sitting next to him.

While his teammates and coaches ate their post-game meals in dead silence in the visitor's lockerroom at Waterfront Stadium minutes after a controversial play at the plate ended in a 3-2 loss to Trenton, the Aeros catcher writhed on the table, struggling to keep the fluid down.

"I'm sorry, but I can't talk right now,'' was all Toregas could manage, not even opening his eyes.

Despite being exhausted and still fighting a flu-like virus that had him sidelined during the first game of the Eastern League Championship Series the previous night, Toregas told Aeros manager Tim Bogar he wanted to play in Wednesday.

As baseball irony would have it, Toregas was at center stage of the game's final play - the 5-foot-11, 200-pound catcher receiving a right-on-the-money throw from right fielder Cirilo Cumberbatch before quickly moving into position to block the plate and tag out a charging Colin Curtis trying to score the winning run from second base.

As Curtis approached the plate, Toregas went to tag him high. Curtis slid in an attempt to avoid the tag, trying to sneak his left hand under Toregas' outstretched glove in an effort to catch the corner of home plate.

Right on top of the play, home plate umpire Cory Blaser quickly called Curtis safe - handing the Thunder a commanding 2-0 lead as the series shifts to Akron Friday.

"It was obviously a close play, and from Wyatt's reaction, I'd say we have a pretty good argument,'' Bogar said. "But the umpire said (Curtis) made a great slide.''

As Blaser signaled Curtis safe, Toregas reacted angrily. He spun around to plead his case to Blaser, then pounded the ball into the ground, followed by his glove and then helmet before collapsing a few feet away, his head bowed in his hands.

After arguing briefly with Blaser, Bogar and center fielder Trevor Crowe came over to check on Toregas. Finally, they pulled him up to his feet and helped him off the field.

''The bottom line is we didn't lose the game on that play, we didn't execute all game long,'' said Bogar, whose team went 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position. "We had plenty of opportunities to score runs, we should have scored five or six.''

The Aeros took an early 2-0 lead with a pair of fourth-inning runs. Jordan Brown led off with a single and scored on Michael Aubrey's RBI-double. Aubrey soon came around to score on an error.

But Trenton chipped away at the lead with a run in the fifth inning, Curtis reaching on one of six walks by Aeros starter Chuck Lofgren, before scoring on P.J. Plittere's RBI-single. Gabe Lopez tied the game three innings later with a run-scoring double.

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