Apollos Hang on to Hold Back Invaders, 6-4
After scoring five runs in the bottom of the sixth, the Houston Apollos had to feel like their game against the Roswell Invaders was all but over, especially considering that Derrick Sylve had blanked Roswell through the first six innings. However, the Invaders rallied, bringing the tying run to the plate before Christian Griffin proved to be the savior, closing the door on the 6-4 victory. Kellen Hatheway and Trey Silmon each drove in a pair of runs for Houston.
The contest was a great pitching duel through five. The Apollos scored the only run in the bottom of second when Roswell starter Tyler Schmidt walked the first three batters of the inning. He struck out the next two and looked like he would escape unscathed, but then hit Hatheway driving in Michael Flohr to make it 1-0.
Despite yielding the run, Schmidt was awesome through four. He did not allow a hit through the first three innings and a double in the fourth by Harrison Moore was the only hit against him.
In the fifth, Max Maarleveld came on and retired the side in order but, in the sixth, things unraveled quickly. With one down, Moore walked and Silmon followed with a blast for a two-run homer to give Houston a 3-0 lead. That would be it for Maarleveld.
Ben Tingen came on, but he could not stop the Apollos. Tevin Brown greeted the Invaders reliever with a double and, two batters later, Hatheway brought him home with a triple. Aaron Stubblefield walked and Mike Millioon brought home Hatheway with a base hit. Mark Traylor plated the final run of the inning with a single and this contest looked like it was all but over.
Sylve had been outstanding through the first six innings. The right-hander allowed one hit in five of the first six innings but, even when he had gotten into trouble, he wiggled his way out of it. That included in the first inning when he yielded two walks and a double to load the bases but retired the side without yielding a run.
Sylve then cruised through the next five innings, but things began to unravel in the seventh. After retiring two of the first three batters, the right-hander yielded three straight singles. That included RBI singles to Scott Martinez and Coleton Horner to get Roswell on the board. Next up was Ben Tingen, who doubled to drive home two. Logan Rycraft followed with a single to put runners at the corners and that would be it for the starter.
Christian Griffin came on. It took him just one pitch to close out the contest, getting Taichi Nakamura to ground back to the box to end the game. Sylve went 6.2 innings for the victory, yielding 10 hits, six walks, and four runs, while striking out 10.
Both teams will be off until Wednesday. Roswell (1-3) will take on the Tucson Saguaros (3-1) in the early game. Houston (1-3) battles the Salina Stockade (3-1) in the nightcap.
By Robert Pannier