Saguaros Clip Apollos in Extra-Innings, 14-13
A 10-run inning would seem to have been enough to lead the Tucson Saguaros to victory over the Houston Apollos on Friday afternoon, but the Apollos battled back to tie the score, forcing extra innings were Tucson would prevail, 14-13. James Prockish drove in the eventual game-winner.
Each team would get on the board in the first inning. In the top half, Erwin Real drove home Thomas DeBonville when he grounded into a double-play to give the Saguaros a 1-0 lead. Houston responded in the bottom of the first, as a ground out by Mike Million brought home Aaron Stubblefield.
In the second, the Apollos took the lead. Ben Tingen walked to start the inning and moved to second on a wild pitch. A ground out moved him to third and he scored on the second wild pitch of the inning. After Trey Silmon walked and Nick Coffman doubled, Minor League Sports Report Player of the Week Yale Hughes singled to score both runners, putting his team on top by three.
Tucson got one of those runs back in the top of the third. Christopher Eusay drew a one out walk. DeBonville followed with a dribbler. Million corralled the ball, firing to second but not in time to get Eusay. However, the runner had strayed off the base. Caught in a pickle, he was thrown out with DeBonville taking second on the play. He scored on a double by Real to cut the deficit for Tucson to two.
Houston restored their three-run lead in the bottom of the third. A walk, a single, and hit by pitch loaded the bases with one down. Jordan Gonzalez hit a sacrifice fly that scored Ben Tingen.
In the fourth, the Apollos scored for the fourth straight inning. A single, an error, and a walk loaded the bases with no one out. Two batters later Tingen singled to drive home a pair of runs giving Houston a 7-2 lead.
The Apollos looked like they were in command, but things fell apart quickly in the top of the fifth. Jake Lialios led off with a single and moved to second when Tyler Baumann drew a walk. Two batters later, DeBonville brought Lialios home with a double. Real then hit a bloop into right field. Both runners had to hold to see if the ball would drop in, which it did. That allowed Baumann to score with DeBonville taking third. Nathan Etheridge then reached to load the bases for Prockish, who singled to drive home DeBonville. With the bases loaded and one down, Chris Caffery and Blake Berry each drew walks to tie the score at seven. Baumann, who had come in to catch in the previous half inning, followed with a three run double to put Tucson on top. One batter later, Eusay blasted a two-run homer to give the Saguaros a five-run lead.
Houston got one of those runs back in the bottom half of the inning when Hughes hit a one out homer. In the seventh, they added three more runs. A sacrifice fly by Hughes made this a three-run game. Two batters later, Million brought home Silmon with a sacrifice fly, and Brown tied the score with a clutch two out single.
That sent the game to extra innings. In the top of the 10th, Tucson was able to load the bases. Etheridge tied the score on a bases-loaded walk and Prockish delivered the game-winner with a sacrifice fly.
The Apollos attempted to rally in the bottom half of the inning. Tingen and Christian Briscoe reached to start the inning, and Tingen scored on a base hit by Tyler Blair. However, Briscoe was thrown out trying to steal third to end the contest.
Both Real and Baumann drove in three runs for the Saguaros. DeBonville had three hits and scored two runs. Marcus Alcoverde earned the victory.
Hughes continues his torrid pace, going to-five with a run scored and four RBI. Stubblefield had three hits and scored three runs.
By Robert Pannier