Jesus Grimaldo Homer Aids Stockade Victory, 9-3
Twice the Roswell Invaders had battled back from one-run deficits to tie the score, but a six-run eighth by the Salina Stockade was too much to overcome, as Salina pulled out the 9-3 victory. Jesus Grimaldo proved to be the savior of the day, blasting a three-run that gave his team the lead for good. Grimaldo finished with three hits and drove in five as the Stockade pounded out 17 hits in the victory.
For seven and a half innings, this was a great ballgame. After neither team was able to drive home a run through the first two innings, Roswell took the lead in the top of the third. Ernie Geraci doubled to start the inning against Salina starter Kenneth Pierson. Joe Slocum attempted to move him over with a sacrifice, but Pierson quickly leapt off the mound, firing a perfect strike to third to throw out the lead runner. Daniel Arroyo then drew a walk before Taichi Nakamura singled to load the bases. Pierson was able to get Coleton Horner to ground out, bringing home Slocum to give the Invaders a 1-0 lead.
Slocum was cruising through the first three frames, but he found himself in some trouble in the bottom of the fourth. Andrew Schutt singled to right with one down and Seth Strong followed by drawing a walk. A sacrifice moved the pair into scoring position. That brought Grimaldo to the plate, who singled up the middle to drive home both runners, giving the Stockade a 2-1 lead.
Rosewell responded right away in the top of the fourth. Geraci singled to start the inning and Slocum was safe on a fielder’s choice. Pierson retired the next two batters, but Geraci scored when Horner delivered a clutch two-out hit to tie the game at two.
In the seventh, Salina took the lead once again. Jacob Lentz pinch-hit for Alex Clayton and drilled a 1-0 offering for his second homer of the year.
The lead did not last long, however. In the top of the eighth, Logan Rycraft walked to start the inning. He then stole second and moved to third on a ground out. He came around to score on a balk.
The Invaders had comeback for the second time in the game, but that would change in the bottom of the eighth. Lance Myers singled to start the inning and moved to second when Schutt reached on an error. Strong then beat out a grounder for single to load the bases and it looked like Slocum was in some serious trouble.
Tyler Schmidt came out of the bullpen and induced Brian Dansereau to hit into a 6-2-5 double-play that erased the two lead runners. Now it looked like Roswell would get out of the inning without yielding a run, but Grimaldo changed that when he drilled his first homer of the year over the wall in left-center to make it 6-3. Hudson Bilodeau followed with a single and he came home on a double by Jared Gay. Jordan Dicks singled, moving Gay to third, and both runners came home on a two-run double by Alex Nielson. That made it 9-3, which was the final.
Pierson pitched very well, allowing seven hits, a walk, and two earned runs in six innings, earning a no decision. Matthew Fountain allowed the tying run in the eighth, but earned the victory.
Grimaldo finished 3-4 with a run and five RBI. Nielson drove in two and Strong scored two runs. Geraci had three hits for Roswell. Horner drove in two.
By Robert Pannier