12-Run Sixth Propels Tucson to Comeback Victory
James Prockish and Nathan Etheridge each drove in four runs as the Tucson Saguaros erased a six-run deficit with a 12-run sixth to defeat the Roswell Invaders, 20-10. Thomas DeBonville added five RBI and Jake Lialios earned the victory with 5.1 outstanding innings of relief. Joshua Welcher tossed five great innings for Roswell in the loss.
This was a wild first inning that saw the two teams combine to score 13 runs on just eight hits. Elvin Jorge started for the Invaders and was in trouble from the start. He walked Christopher Eusay and Cody Earl to start the game, then gave up an RBI double to DeBonville.
That would be it for Jorge, as he was replaced by Welcher. The Roswell reliever was greeted by a double by Etheridge, scoring both runners to extend the Tucson lead to three. Prockish followed with a double of his own, driving home Etheridge, but Welcher settled down, striking out the side to keep his team in the ballgame.
The Invaders responded, putting up nine runs in the bottom half of the inning. Taichi Nakamura and Ausar Rankin drew back-to-back walks to start the frame, and Jacob lends reached on an error to load the bases. Nakamura came home on a sacrifice fly and Ian Yetsko followed with a single to reload the bases. Colton Horner delivered a single to bring home Rankin and Lentz scored when Darryl Donerson drew a walk. That pulled the Invaders within one and the bases were still loaded with just one down. Saguaros starter Tyler Baumann was able to retire the next batter, but a walk to Welcher brought home Yetsko to tie the game, and Nakamura gave his team the lead with a two-run double. A walk to Rankin re-loaded the bases before Lentz drove in two more with a double of his own. That gave Roswell an 8-4 lead and would bring a call to the bullpen, as Lialios came on. He was able to retire the final batter of the inning, but not before a passed ball allowed Rankin to score.
Roswell added one more run in the bottom of the second. Horner turned on a Lialios offering, blasting it over the left-center field wall for his first homerun of the season.
After 14 runs in the first two innings, the bats suddenly went silent over the next three frames. Both Lialios and Welcher were doing an outstanding job of controlling the opposing hitters. Welcher came out to start the sixth. He went five innings, allowing six hits, four walks and a run while striking out four.
Alexander Merithew came on for the Invaders and was absolutely rocked. Gary Mason and Eusay led off with back-to-back singles and both runners moved up on a double steal. The Roswell reliever struck out Earl, but then gave up a base hit to DeBonville, bringing Mason home. Etheridge followed with a base hit to bring home Eusay and both runners moved up when Prockish drew a walk to load the bases. Danny Kerr and Chris Caffery followed with back-to-back RBI singles to pull the Saguaros to within two.
That would be it for Merithew, who went one third of an inning, allowing six hits, a walk, and seven earned runs.
Shannon Broussard came on and walked Lialos, driving in a run, then hit Mason to tie the score at 10.
Clearly not the answer, the Invaders turned to Jonathan Fleckestein, hoping to stop the momentum. He was greeted by an RBI single by Eusay before getting a ground out that scored Lialos. A double by DeBonville brought home two more runners and Prockish drove home the final two runs of the inning with a double. In all, Tucson scored 12 runs on nine hits to take a 16-10 lead. The 12 runs in the frame was the most scored by any team in a single inning in the Pecos League this season.
For good measure, the Saguaros added four more runs in the top of the seventh. Two walks and hit by pitch loaded the bases with one down. Blake Berry drew a walk to drive homerun and DeBonville drove home his fifth run of the game with the ground out. Etheridge brought home the final runs of the inning with a two-run single.
Lialios (2-0) left to start the seventh inning. He went 5.1 innings, allowing three hits, four walks, and a run while striking out six to earn his second win of the year. The bullpen continued to follow in Lialios footsteps, as Eli Straw tossed two scoreless innings and Zach Love tossed a scoreless frame in the ninth, finishing off the 20-10 victory.
Tucson scored 20 runs on 17 hits, led by DeBonville, who was 5-6 with three runs scored and five RBI. Etheridge finished 3-5 with three runs scored and four RBI, and Prokish was 2-4 with a run and four RBI. For Roswell, Nakamura, Donerson, Lentz, and Horner each drove in a pair of runs.
By Robert Pannier