Butler, Williams Blank Invaders, Stockade Win, 6-0
The Salina Stockade remained red-hot on Saturday, winning their third straight game to begin the 2020 Pecos League season as they downed the Roswell Invaders, 6-0. Ben Butler and Jacob Williams combined to allow just one hit in the six-inning affair to record the first shutout of the season in the league.
It looked like the Invaders would take the lead in the top of the first. After Butler retired Ben Tingen, he walked the next three batters. However, the Salina starter settle down, getting a shallow fly out before retiring Mark Churman on a comebacker to the mound to end the threat.
After watching their starter pull a Houdini in the top half of the first, the Salina offense gave their starter the lead in the bottom half of the frame. Jordan Dicks led off with a walk, then stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. He scored on a ground out by Seth Strong and the Stockade were in front 1-0.
The team extended their lead in the bottom of the second. Hudson Bilodeau led off with a single. Two batters later José Tejeda doubled moving Bilodeau to third. That brought Butler to the plate, who delivered a double to the wall easily scoring both runners to extend the lead to three.
Butler cruised through the next two innings, striking out the side in the second, then retiring the side in order in the third. That gave him eight straight batters retired.
The streak came to an end in the top of the fourth when Ausar Rankin recorded the first Roswell hit against the Salina starter. Daniel Arroyo reached on a walk and that would be it for Butler. Williams came on, striking out the side to end the threat.
Williams continued to dominate in his three innings of work. He struck out the side again in the fifth, giving him six straight strikeouts. In the sixth, things got a little dicey when he hit two of the first three batters of the inning, but ended the game by inducing Churman to hit into the 3-6-1 double-play.
Williams (2-0) went three innings for the victory. He allowed no hits and no walks while striking out six.
Salina added solo runs in the third, fifth, and sixth innings. Jared Gay drove home Lance Myers to make it 4-0 in the bottom of the third. In the fifth, Eddie Grimaldo drew a bases-loaded walk to drive home another run. In the sixth, Dicks scored his second run of the game, coming home on an error by the catcher.
The Salina Stockade (3-0) take on the Tucson Saguaros (2-1) on Sunday. Game time is scheduled for 1: 00 p.m.
By Robert Pannier