Roswell Prevails in Wild Late Morning Affair, 11-10
If the Pecos League has produced anything this season, it has been very entertaining contests between the Roswell Invaders and Houston Apollos. Thursday morning was no different as the two teams combined for 21 runs, six lead changes, and a late rally that just fell short as the Invaders prevailed, 11-10. Coleton Horner and Ernie Geraci led the way, with each driving in three. Elvin Jorge earned his first win of the season.
The Apollos jumped out in front with a run in the first and two in the second. Trevin Brown led off with a single, then stole second. A walk to Aaron Stubblefield and a single by Mike Million loaded the bases with no one out. Alexander Merithew was in a lot of trouble, but he struck out Jalin Lawson and looked like he was going to get out of the inning unscathed when Michael Flohr grounded a double-play grounder to short. However, the ball was booted, allowing Brown to score to make it 1-0. The Roswell starter kept the damage minimal, however, striking out the next two batters to leave the bases loaded.
An inning later, Mike Wilson singled with one out. That brought Brown to the plate, who clubbed his first homerun of the season to make it a 3-0 lead.
After being shutdown in the first, the Invaders came up with three in the bottom half of the inning to tie the score. Horner doubled to start off the frame and reached third on a single by Geraci. Daniel Arroyo grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Horner. Arroyo moved to second when the double-play attempt went wide. Two batters later, he scored on a single by Ian Yetsko. Yetsko stole second and scored on a single by Darryl Donerson to tie the score at three.
Each team scored a pair in the third. In the top half, Christian Briscoe drilled his first homer of the season to put Houston back on top. In the bottom of the frame, Ausar Rankin scored on a wild pitch and Horner came home on a sacrifice fly by Arroyo to tie the score at five.
The Apollos retook the lead in the top of the fourth. An error allowed Stubblefield to reach first. He stole second and moved to third on a flyball. Flohr then struck out, but the ball bounced in the dirt and got away, allowing Flohr to reach and Stubblefield to score.
The lead did not last long, however. In the bottom half of the inning, Yetsko led off with his second homer of the year. Houston starter Mike Wilson retired the next two batters, but a walk to Logan Rycraft kept the inning alive. Wilson then hit Rankin and Horner followed with a double that brought home Rycraft. Geraci followed with a single into right field, bringing both runners home and the Invaders had their first lead of the game, 9-6. They would not relinquish it.
Each team added two runs in the fifth. Jamal Washington singled with one down, then stole second and scored on the overthrow by the catcher. Marcus Lopez later scored on a single by Stubblefield. Roswell got those runs right back in the bottom half as Scott Martinez scored on an error and Taichi Nakamura came home on a base hit by Rankin.
The two teams combined to score in nine of the first 10 half-innings, but both team’s bats were held silent over the next three frames. In the ninth, Houston rallied looking to tie the score.
After Brown flew out, Stubblefield walked. Jorge struck out Million, but a walk to Lawson and a single by Flohr scored Stubblefield. Briscoe then laced a single to bring home Lawson and this was a one-run game. That brought Rodney Goldsmith to the plate, who hit a hard grounder to third, but the throw to first was in time to end the game.
Horner finished 3-4 with three runs and three RBI. Geraci was 2-3 with three RBI and Yetsko was 2-4 with two runs and two RBI. Briscoe had three RBI for Houston. Jorge (1-2) earned the victory with 4.1 solid innings of relief.
By Robert Pannier