Cronin Weakens Apollos Bats as Invaders Win 11-3
Matt Cronin tossed 5.1 innings of solid relief to help lead the Roswell Invaders to an 11-3 victory over the Houston Apollos on Tuesday morning. Seth Strong led the offense, recording two hits and driving in three runs. Yale Hughes had three hits for Houston.
Houston got on the board in the top of the first, taking a 2-0 lead. Aaron Stubblefield led off with a single and scored when Hughes drilled a ball to the wall, racing into third with a triple. Two batters later, with Trey Silmon at the plate, Hughes stole home, his third stolen base of the year.
Roswell responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning. Houston starter Derrick Sylve was able to retire the first two batters of the frame, but Jacob Lentz reached on an error. Strong followed with a double, bringing Lentz all the way around from first to score to cut the deficit to one.
In the third, the Apollos extended their lead back to two. Cronin came on for Steven Keller and gave up a single to Hughes to start the frame. Tevin Brown followed with a single to put runners at the corners, and Hughes scored when Silmon got just enough of the ball to dribble it out in front of home plate, allowing Hughes to score. The inning could have gotten worse, but Brown was thrown out trying to advance on the play.
The Invaders responded once again, scoring two runs in the bottom of the third to tie the score. Lentz led off with a base hit and scored when Ian Yetsko blasted his third homer of the year.
An inning later, Roswell took the lead. Taichi Nakamura walked to start the inning and moved to third on an Ausar Rankin double. Two batters later, both runners came home when Strong singled up the middle.
That would be all for Sylve. The Apollos turned to Houston Williams, but he did not bring relief. Williams hit the first batter he faced, then walked Coleton Horner to load the bases. A walk to Darryl Donerson brought home Strong.
Williams was then pulled, as Tyler Blair came on in relief. He struck out Rene Moreda, but then walked Cronin to drive home Yetsko. Nakamura reached on an error to bring home Horner, the fifth run of the inning.
The Invaders added three more runs to put this contest away, in the bottom of the sixth, Moreda plated Donerson with an RBI single. Two batters later Nakamura brought home Moreda with a single. They added one more run in the eighth on an RBI ground out by Lentz.
Cronin (1-1) earned his first victory of the season. The Roswell hurler was very effective, allowing seven hits and a run in 5.1 innings. He did walk five but struck out six batters. Strong finished 2-4 with a run and three RBI for the Invaders. Yetsko and Nakaumura each drove in a pair of runs for Roswell. Hughes finished 3-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.
By Robert Pannier