Saguaros Rally Late to Defeat Apollos 15-9
We have seen the Tucson Saguaros rally from early deficits to earn victories all season long, but Sunday’s win was one for the ages. The Saguaros trailed 7-2 heading into the top of the seventh, then scored 13 runs over the final three frames on their way to a 15-9 victory over the Houston Apollos. Nathan Etheridge continues his torrid pace, driving in four, and Thomas DeBonville and Chris Caffery each drove in three in the victory. Martin Alcoverde closed the game out with two scoreless innings for his fourth save of the season.
Tucson took the lead in the top of the first when DeBonville scored on a base hit by Etheridge. The Apollos tied the score in the bottom of the second when Myles Waley came home on a double by David Towler. That put two in scoring position with no one out, but Edwin St.-Hilaire was able to mitigate the damage, pitching masterfully to get out of the frame without yielding another run.
In the top of the fourth, Tucson retook the lead. Etheridge led off with a drive to the gap. He raced out of the box, reaching third with a triple. Danny Kerr then grounded a ball to first that was misplayed for an error, allowing Etheridge to score.
It had been a solid pitchers’ duel through four, but Houston would take the lead with three in the bottom of the fifth. A one out single by Isaiah Garza followed by a double by Christian Briscoe put two in scoring position. Aaron Thor then reached on an error to load the bases for David Towler, who walked to tie the score. A fielder’s choice by Dylan Sunnafrank scored Briscoe, giving Houston the lead, and they extended their lead to two on a single by Rodney Goldsmith.
Up by two, the Apollos extended their lead to five with three more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Back-to-back walks to Esteban Gomez and Yale Hughes started the inning. Garza then singled to left, bringing home Gomez. Both runners moved up when the left fielder overran the ball. That allowed Hughes to score on a ground out, and Garza came home on a base hit by Daniel Arroyo. That made it 7-2.
Tucson had done very little against Towler, but he left to start the seventh. The left-hander went six innings, allowing three hits, a walk, and two earned runs. Towler struck out seven.
Tyler Blair came on and the Saguaros immediately got back on the board. Gary Mason walked, James Prockish singled, and Cody Earl walked to load the bases with no one out. Tyler Baumann then drew a walk to drive home Mason. DeBonville followed with a base hit that brought home Prockish. Earl attempted to score as well. The throw to the plate was perfect, but the catcher dropped the ball, allowing Earl to score. A sacrifice fly by Etheridge brought home Baumann to make it 7-6.
Houston restored their lead to three in the bottom of the inning. Goldsmith led off with a single and scored on a two-run blast by Gomez, his first homerun of the year.
The Saguaros had toyed with Houston all game, but they took command in the top of the eighth. With one down, two hit by pitches and a walk loaded the bases. Baumann then drew a walk to drive home Mason and DeBonville followed with a single that scored Prockish. Caffery then laced a double into the gap that brought home two more to give Tucson the lead. A single by Etheridge brought home two more to give the Saguaros a 12-9 edge.
Tucson added three more runs in the ninth. Mason singled to start the inning and moved to third on a single by Prockish. He scored on a bad relay throw. Alcoverde followed with a single and Baumann walked to load the bases. A walk to DeBonville brought home Prockish and Alcoverde scored on a sacrifice fly.
Etheridge finished 3-4 with a run and four RBI. DeBonville was 2-4 with two runs and three RI and Caffery had three RBI as well. Towler was a perfect 2-2 with three RBI.