Etheridge, Saguaros Bury Apollos, 16-3
The Houston Apollos weren’t very god-like on Saturday, as they were absolutely buried by the Tucson Saguaros, 16-3. Nathan Etheridge led the way with two doubles and four RBI as Tucson recorded 13 hits and drew a league record 20 walks in the victory. Aleq McMullin earned the win with 5.2 solid innings.
The Saguaros took the lead in the top of the first. Christopher Eusay drew a walk to begin the inning and moved to second on a single by Thomas DeBonville. James Prockish then grounded to second. He was out at first, allowing both runners to move up, but an error by the third baseman trying to catch the runner at third allowed both runners to come around to score.
Houston responded right away in the bottom of the first. Kellen Hatheway led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a ground out. He advanced to third on a Mike Million single and the bases became full when Mark Traylor singled with Hatheway holding at third. With the bases-loaded, Michael Flohr drew a walk and two runners came home to score on a two-run, two-out single by Trey Silmon. That gave the Apollos a 3-2 lead.
Tucson tied the score in the top of the second. A two-out walk to McMullin began the frame. He moved to second on a single by Marcus Catalano and the base became full when Eusay walked. DeBonville then beat out a hard grounder to third for a single, driving home McMullin to tie the score at three.
The Saguaros were on a roll and would retake the lead in the top of the third. After three consecutive walks to Cody Earl, Danny Kerr, and Blake Berry, McMullin walked to drive home a run. Two batters later, Eusay drew the fifth walk of the inning, this time driving home Kerr to give Tucson a 5-3 lead.
The score held until the seventh when Tucson blew this game open with seven runs. The inning began with 10 straight batters reaching base. The first six reached, alternating a walk and then a single. Ryan Porras drove home two with a two run single before Marcus Catalano walked to reload the bases. Etheridge then cleared them with a double before Danny Kerr drove home the final run of the inning with a double of his own.
The Saguaros added four more runs in the top of the ninth aided by two Houston errors. That made the score 16-3, which was the final.
DeBonville finished 4-7 with three runs scored and two RBI. Etheridge was 2-5 with a run and four RBI and Prockish finished with three RBI. Eusay also scored three runs for Tucson.
After giving up three runs in the first inning, McMullin settled down to pitch 5.2 innings, earning his first victory of the season. The Tucson starter allowed seven hits and six walks of his own, striking out eight. Jake Lialios pitched the final two innings, striking out four.
The Houston Apollos (0-2) look for their first victory on Sunday evening when they take on the winless Roswell Invaders (0-2) at 5:00 p.m.
By Robert Pannier