8/6/2023-Game 1 of Pecos League Mountain Division Championship Series. Tucson Saguaros 8 Trinidad Triggers 5
This game was played on 8/6/2023 at Kino Sports Complex. The game was delayed two hours for the lightning delay policy of Kino Stadium.
A four-run fourth inning put Tucson in the lead for good as the Saguaros went on to defeat visiting Trinidad, 8-5, in the first game of the Pecos Leagues Mountain Division Championship Series Sunday night in the Arizona City. One more win in the best-of-3 series will send the Cacti into the league championship series later this week in San Rafael.
Tucson had taken a 2-0 lead after B.J. Minarcin scored on a Madison Santos groundout in the first and an RBI double by Kirkland Trahan that brought Jordan Medina around from first base one inning later. Trinidad put three runs on the scoreboard in the top of the third when David Arza scored on a double by Jason Rooks, who came in on a two-run Jordan Anderson homer off Jaymon Cervantes in a matchup of the divisions Batter of the Year and Pitcher of the Year, respectively. Tucson tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the frame when Santos crossed the dish when Trahan grounded into a fielders choice.
In the fateful fourth, the Saguaros plated four runs, three coming in on a Brock Ephan homer on an 0-2 pitch from Dakota Rodd, whod just replaced starter Joel Ballard on the mound. That put Tucson ahead by a 7-3 count and it was a matter of Cervantes and reliever Jackson Smith holding down the potent Triggers over the remaining five innings. Although Trinidad did come to within a pair of runs in the sixth when Jake Urena scored on a double from Quinterrious Arrington, who later scored on a two-out DeMarcus Kelly triple, the Saguaros added an insurance run in the eighth when an Ephan singled drove in Minarcin from third to end the nights scoring.
A third-year pro from NAIA powerhouse Lewis-Clark State who played for Ogden of the Pioneer League in 2021 before batting .429 with 14 homers in 39 games for Tucson last year, Ephan finished 3-for-5 in the game with five RBIs for the Saguaros. Arza collected two of the Triggers nine hits and stole a base. Cervantes earned the win, going 5.2 innings and allowing all Trinidad runs, while Ballard absorbed the loss after he was tagged for five runs on four hits and five walks over 3.1 entradas. Smith held Trinidad scoreless on two hits over the final 3.1 frames, with four Ks and no free passes.