Pierson Shuts Down Apollos, Stockade Prevail, 7-3
The Salina Stockade (4-1) picked up right where they had left off before the early week break, dominating the Houston Apollos (1-4), 7-3. Kenneth Pierson earned the victory with 5.2 outstanding innings and Brian Dansereau homered and drove in two for the Stockade.
This contest was scoreless through the first three innings, but Salina jumped out on top with three in the top of the fourth inning. Nick Coffman had retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced, issuing only a second inning walk. However, he found himself in trouble when Dansereau greeted the Apollos starter with a one-out homerun. Things unraveled from there. He walked the next two batters before giving up a double to Seth Strong. That scored Lance Myers and Aaron Takacs followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.
Salina added to their lead in the top of the sixth. Alex Nielson singled with one down. Two batters later, Takacs doubled to bring Nielson around to score.
Pierson was even more devastating through the first five innings. He allowed a walk and a single and was just one batter over the minimum through five. Michael Flohr reached on an error to start the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice. Aaron Thor followed with a base hit to drive home Flohr to pull Houston back within two. Kellen Hatheway drew a walk before Aaron Stubblefield hit into a fielder’s choice to put runners at first and third.
That was it for Pierson who came out after 5.2 innings, allowing two hits, two walks and an unearned run. He struck out six. Jacob Williams, who was named by the Minor League Sports Report as the Pitcher of the Week on Tuesday, came on to close out the inning without any further damage.
Salina added single runs in each of the final three innings. Dansereau drove in his second run of the game with a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh. Hudson Bilodeau added a run in the eighth with an RBI double, and Myers drove home the final run of the game for the Stockade with a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth.
The Houston offense was stymied all morning, recording just three hits through the first eight innings, but they came alive in the top of the ninth against reliever Trevor Wick. Two walks and an error loaded the bases for the Apollos to start the inning. Trey Silmon was hit by a pitch driving home Stubblefield. Julian Hunt drove home Mike Milton with the second run of the inning on a sacrifice fly and Houston had scored two runs without recording a hit. Wick was able to retire the next batter but hit Isiah Garza to reload the bases.
That would be all for Wick. Blake Garrett came on and got Tyler Blair to ground out to end the game. For Garrett, it was his first save of the season.
Dansereau went 2-4 with a run, a homer, and two RBI for Salina. Takacs also drove in two runs for the Stockade. Salmon and Hunt each had an RBI for Houston.
By Robert Pannier