Myers Homer Aids Stockade Eighth Inning Rally, 9-5
The Salina Stockade found themselves in a 4-0 hole halfway through Friday afternoon’s contest, but a four-run bottom of the fifth and five runs in the eighth helped the team to prevail over the Houston Apollos, 9-5. Lance Myers led the way with a big three-run homer in the deciding inning and Matthew Fountain earned the victory with two outstanding innings of relief. The victory moved Salina to 2-0 to start the season.
After neither team scored through the first two innings, Houston took the lead in the top of the third on a wild pitch. They extended their lead to four in the top of the fifth when Mike Million cleared the bases with a three-run double.
That appeared to be all the runs that Apollos starter Nick Coffman needed, as he was brilliant through the first four innings. However, things fell apart for him quickly in the bottom of the fifth as he had trouble finding the strikes zone. Aaron Takacs, Alex Nielson, and Hudson Bilodeau started the inning with three consecutive walks. Trevor Wick then grounded a ball to short that was booted for an error. That allowed Takacs to score.
That would be it for Coffman as Jamal Washington came on looking to stop the bleeding. He gave up a sacrifice fly to Jordan Dicks and Seth Strong followed with a base hit that made this a one run contest. With one down and runners at the corners, Myers tied the score with a sacrifice fly.
The score remained tied through seven but, in the bottom of the eighth, Salina blew this game open. An error allowed Nielson to reach to start the frame. Bilodeau followed with a base hit and Jose Tejeda followed him with a pinch-hit sacrifice fly to score Nielson to give the Stockade their first lead of the game. A double by Strong brought home Bilodeau. Brian Dansereau then drew a walk, bringing Myers back to the plate. Tyler Blair came out of the bullpen to face the Salina third baseman, but the first pitch he threw, Myers drilled over the left field wall for a three-run homer to make it a 9-4 ball game.
Houston added a run in the top of the ninth, but it was too little, too late, as the Stockade prevailed, 9-5.
Myers finished the day 2-4 with a run scored and four RBI. Both Nielson and Bilodeau scored two runs for Salina. Fountain allowed a hit in two innings of work for the victory. He struck out two.
By Robert Pannier