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updated: 7/1/2011 11:37 AM

Fielders drop third straight to Chico

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Daily Herald News Services

CHICO, Calif. -- The Chico Outlaws defeated the Lake County Fielders 7-6 on Thursday night in a back-and-forth battle that took 13 innings to decide.

It was the first time this season that the Fielders (19-11) lost three consecutive games, and the setback knocked the Fielders out of first place for the first time this season.

Lake County gained the early advantage after Argelis Nunez singled to score Rex Rundgren, who had tripled, giving the Fielders a 1-0 lead.

The Outlaws (12-18) tagged Fielders starting pitcher Vince Bongiovanni in the third with three runs on 3 hits, a hit batter, a walk and a sacrific fly.

Luckily, the Fielders quickly tied the game in the top of the fourth inning. Nunez singled and brought C.J. Ziegler to the plate as the tying run. Ziegler came through, sending a 2-0 pitch from Chico starting pitcher Jonny Bravo over the wall in center field for a game-tying, two-run home run. It was Ziegler's 12th homer of the season, putting him alone in second place in the North American League in that category.

After Chico took a 4-3 lead in the sixth, the Fielders tied it up in the seventh on an error and a passed ball.

Down 5-4 in the ninth, Nunez crushed a solo home run to tie the game at 5-5. It was Nunez's eighth roundtripper of the season, and he has hit a home run in three consecutive games.

The Fielders took a 6-5 lead in the top of the 13th, but three walks loaded the bases for the Outlaws in their half of the inning and a the game ended with a two-run single and a close play at the plate.