Six-Run Frame Rallies Saguaros Past Stockade 9-7
The Tucson Saguaros scored six runs in the top of the seventh inning to defeat the Salina Stockade on Tuesday afternoon, 9-7. Nathan Etheridge led the way, driving in four and scoring three runs. Jared Gay had three RBI for the Stockade.
Salina took the lead with single runs in each of the first three frames. In the bottom of the first, Jordan Dicks led off with a double. Aaron Takacs and Eddie Grimaldo followed by drawing back to back walks. That brought Ernie Geraci to the plate, who hit into a double play scoring Dicks.
In the bottom of the second, Drew Schutt led off with a double and moved to third when the leftfielder misplayed the ball. Gay followed with a ground out that brought home Schutt to extend the lead to two. One inning later, Takacs drilled a one-out double, stole third, then scored on a Geraci base hit to make it a 3-0 lead for the Stockade.
Salina starter Tommy Giunta had pitched very well through the first three innings, even escaping some trouble in the second when he had two runners in scoring position with two out, however, he was able to induce a ground out to end the threat.
In the fourth, his run came to an end. Etheridge led off with a double. Giunta retired the next two batters, including striking out Danny Kerr, however, the final out proved to be elusive. Chris Caffery singled and was able to take second on a miss play. That proved to be costly as Cody Earl followed with a base hit, bringing both runners home to cut the deficit for Tucson to one.
In the bottom of the fifth, Salina looks like they took command of this game. Giunta led off with a base hit and moved to second when Takacs singled two batters later. Earl got Grimaldo to fly out for the second out of the inning, but things unraveled quickly from there. Earl hit Geraci to load the bases and Hudson Bilodeau reached on a single that drove home Giunta. A walk to Schutt drove home another run and Gay plated two with a single giving Salina a 7-2 lead.
In the top of the sixth, the Saguaros got back on the board when Etheridge led off with his second homerun of the season. That put Tucson behind by four, setting up the dramatic seventh inning.
Giunta remained in the game, as he had pitched well through the first six frames. However, he walked Noah Mahoney to start the inning before giving up a base hit to Marcus Catalano. That would be it for the Salina starter.
Matthew Fountain came on and was rocked, walking the first two batters he faced, driving in a run. With the bases loaded and one down, he gave up a single to Etheridge that brought home two more runs before walking James Prockish.
That would be it for Fountain. Trevor Wick came on and gave up an RBI single to Kerr, keeping the bases loaded. The score was tied at seven, but Tucson would grab their first lead of the game when Caffery and Gary Mason drew back to back walks, driving in a run each.
Holding their first lead of the game, Martin Alcoverde came on in the bottom of the seventh. He gave up a one-out hit, but retired the final two batters to record his second save of the season.
Etheridge finished 4-4 with three runs scored and four RBI. Earl added to RBI for Tucson. Gay drove in three for Salina.
By Robert Pannier