Tucson Downs Roswell in Lead-Changing Slugfest, 9-7
The Tucson Saguaros and Roswell Invaders put on one the most entertaining games in the Pecos League this season, as the lead changed hands five times before the Saguaros finally won it 9-7. It took three-runs in the bottom of the seventh to provide the winning margin, as the two teams combined for 16-runs, 28-hits, and 14-walks. Every player in the starting lineup for both teams, excluding the starting pitchers, had at least one hit.
After a scoreless first, Tucson took the lead in the bottom of the second. With one down, Danny Kerr and Cody Earl delivered back to back singles. Two batters later, Gary Mason doubled to the wall, bringing both runners around to score. Christopher Eusay followed with a triple down the line to give the Saguaros a 3-0 lead.
Roswell responded right away, scoring four runs in the top of the third thanks to seven straight batters reaching base. Coleton Horner was hit by a pitch to start the inning, and Ernie Geraci and Ausar Rankin followed with back to back singles to load the bases with no one out. Ian Yetsko beat out a ground ball for a single, bringing home Horner. Keaven Diaz followed with a walk driving home another run before Logan Rycraft brought home the third run of the inning with another single. A walk to Alexander Merithew scored Yetsko to put the Invaders on top. It looked like Roswell would blow this game open, but Diaz was picked off third before Taichi Nakamura grounded into a double play to end the threat.
Tucson did a little responding of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Nathan Etheridge singled with one down and scored when Erwin Real doubled. A walk to Kerr and a single by Earl loaded the bases before Sati Santa Cruz put the Saguaros back on top with a sacrifice fly.
Tucson extended their lead an inning later on a one-out single by James Prockish that scored Thomas DeBonville. DeBonville had been selected by the Minor League Sports Report as the Player of the Week on Tuesday.
Roswell pulled within one in the top of the sixth. A single by Nakamura got the inning started. He moved to second on a single by Horner and reached third on a double play. Rankin then drew a walk before Yetsko was hit by a pitch. Diaz then drew a walk to score Nakamura to make this a 6-5 game. Roswell drew 12 walks in the contest.
In the top of the seventh, the Invaders would retake the lead, the fourth lead change of the game. A double and two walks loaded the bases with one out. Geraci grounded into a fielder’s choice that brought home Scott Martinez to tie the score. A walk reloaded the bases, bringing Yetsko to the plate. He would ground out to end the threat, but not before a wild pitch brought home Nakamura to put Roswell on top 7-6.
As they had done in the third, the Saguaros responded right away in the bottom half of the inning. A double by Etheridge and a one-out single by Kerr put runners at the corners. Etheridge scored on a ground out by Earl and Kerr came home on a double by Chris Caffery. He scored on a single up the middle by Gary Mason and Tucson had a 9-7 lead. That would be the final score.
Eli Straw earned the victory for Tucson. Tommy Giunta took the loss. Mason finished 2-4 with three RBI and a run scored for the Saguaros. Earl, Kerr, Etheridge, Prockish, and Eusay each had two hits for the Saguaros. Rycraft and Yetsko each had a pair of hits each for the Invaders.
By Robert Pannier