Salina Miscue Hands Texas AirHogs Wild 8-7 Victory
On a night where a lot of games were wild affairs in the American Association, the Texas AirHogs found themselves locked in a great battle with the Salina Stockade that proved to be one of the wildest. The AirHogs were trailing 5-1, only to battle back with five runs in the fifth to take the lead. The Stockade would tie the score the top of the eighth, but an error allowed the winning run to come home and Texas was the victors, 8-7.
The AirHogs took the lead in the bottom of the first inning. Casio Grider, who continues to be red-hot since joining Texas, lined a ball to the wall in center field that he legged out for a triple. Levi Scott followed with a base hit to score Grider and it was 1-0.
It would stay that way until the top of the third, when Salina would tie the score. Jonathan Moroney led off the inning with a ground ball that he beat out for a base hit, but he was thrown out trying to steal second. Logan Trowbridge walked, before Aaron Olivas grounded into a fielder’s choice that put him at first base. With two down and one runner on, Troy Paris lined a base it into right field, and Kewby Meyer followed by hitting the ball to first which Scott could not make a play on. Olivas scored to tie the game at one.
In the top of the fourth, the Stockade took the lead. Jesse Baker got the rally going with a base hit with one out, and moved to second on a single by Roche Woodard. Next up was Moroney, who singled into right field to load the bases, still with just one out. Trowbridge then grounded back to the pitcher who threw the ball away, allowing both Baker and Woodard to score and give Salina the lead. A fielder’s choice by Olivas brought home Moroney and Trowbridge scored on a sacrifice fly by Paris to make it 5-1.
The Stockade had taken the lead, but the AirHogs would get it back in the bottom of the fifth. Ryan Wagner reached on an infield single to start the inning, and moved to second when Michael Miller walked two batters later. That brought Trevor Sealey to the plate, who drilled the ball down the line in right field for a triple. Both runners scored to put Texas down by just one. Following an Alvaro Rondon walk, Sealey scored on a wild pickoff attempt. Scott then brought home Rondon with a base hit. A wild pitch moved Scott to second and he scored on a Denis Phipps double to give the AirHogs the 6-5 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, Texas extended their lead to two. With two down, Grider drilled his third home run of the season over the left field wall to make it 7-5.
The Stockade responded right away in the top of the eighth, scoring two runs to tie the ballgame. Baker led off with a single, and scored when Woodard hit his second triple of the year. Josh Blanco was able to retire the next two batters, but Olivas delivered the clutch two out single, scoring Woodard to tie the game.
It had been a wild affair, but the Texas AirHogs were not going to let this game get away. In the bottom of the eighth, Brian Ragira reached on a single with one out and moved to third on a base hit by Wagner. Dillon Sunnafrank struck out Beamer Weems, and got Miller to ground to second for what should have been the third out, but an error allowed Ragira to score the go-ahead run.
In the ninth, Texas sent out Luis De La Cruz to close out the game. He retired the side in order, striking out all three batters for his ninth save of the season.
Casio Grider led the Texas offense, going 2-4 with 2-runs and an RBI. Levi Scott also had 2-hits, and he drove in 2 and scored a run. The Salina Stockade were led by Roche Woodard, who was 3-4 with 2-runs and an RBI.
By Robert Pannier