6/16/2012-Fuego Reduced to Ashes in 19-5 Cowboy Rout! Rev. Barry Abraham Zavah Saturday, May 19, 2012
A stronger wind blew through Kokernot Field tonight than in yesterday’s Game 1 of the Alpine Cowboys – Santa Fe Fuego 4 game series, fanning the flame of Cowboy resolve to continue to improve in every facet of the game; demonstrating a number of things for the young team and it’s loyal fans: “these Boys are in it to win it” and doing so in convincing fashion by beating the Fuego team 19-5 in a 4 hour+ game Saturday night in Alpine, TX. Did you want solid relief pitching by the Cowboys? Did you want to see the opposition Bull Pen crumble? Did you want to see the Cowboys hit double digits on the scoreboard? The game had that by the before the 6th inning was over. There wasn’t much to say in the way of positives for Santa Fe. Cowboy’s Head Coach Ryan Stevens called it “a good team effort. We used 5 pitchers who all came out and attacked the zone and did their job. Our hitters came up with timely hits and you can’t ask better than that.” He continued to reiterate one of his off-season aims, to acquire the best pitchers possible, noting “Our 4 relievers, it was their first professional career appearance. They’re rookies; straight out of college.” In previous conversations, another of Ryan’s goals was to build a team with heart. So I asked him about the score and perhaps it would “give a sense of complacency that they’re better than they think they are with only 2 previous games under their belt before beginning this home stand and having limited practice.” He responded, saying: “We actually had more practice with the rain delays (in Roswell last weekend) than other teams. You’ll see them out there at 10:00 in the morning in the cage. It is their work ethic, which makes them stand-out from other teams.” Cowboy starter, RHP Brett Kennedy struck-out the side, 1, 2, 3 in the 1st. In the bottom of the frame, the Cowboys were aided by 3 errors; two alone by 2B Gregg Perrett and 1 hit. The second of a four game series had several distinct parts; reminiscent of a repeat of Game 1; but it was not to be. 1-0 Cowboys lead. In the top of the 2nd, two quick grounders, 3rd to 1st and 2nd to 1st, a single and another strike-out gave fans reason to think Kennedy was Game 1’s Chris Welborn’s reincarnated. In the bottom of the 2nd, the Cowboys scored without a hit via an error by 1B Matt Streich and a Evans walk. 2-0 Cowboys lead. A more difficult 3rd had Kennedy looking at 5 batters, but not allowing a Fuego runner past 3rd base. The Cowboys went down in order. 2-0 Cowboys lead. The 4th gave indications of trouble to come; Evans allowed 2 runs on 4 hits; but the Cowboys answered with 3 of their own. 5-2 Cowboys lead. In the 5th, an error by 3B Ronnie Romo, Jr allowed the lead-off hitter to reach base and a wild pitch moved the runner to 2nd. The next two batters were out; but a homer by 1b Evan Kohli provided 3 runs. The Cowboys were set down in order. Game tied 5-5. Santa Fe’s lead-off batter reached on a walk in the 6th and SS Scott Mulhern singled, but no runs were scored on RHP reliever Perdro Maldonado, entering the game with 1 out. It was time for the next segment of the game. 12-5 Cowboys lead. In the 7th, Santa Fe left 3 runners on base in the inning, but couldn’t score on RHP Derrick Dingeman, who recorded a strike-out in his 1 inning of relief. The Fuego starter was lifted after facing just one batter and recording no outs. RHP Trevor Borsak faced 2 Cowboys without getting an out. The next reliever (name and number was not on the score sheet) recorded an out, but the Cowboys batted around for the second time in the game, scoring 7 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks; including a massive CF Tyler Hicks home run. 19-5 Cowboys. The last 2 innings had an unusual ending. Fuego’s Justin Trejo was recruited from right field (though listed in the score sheet as a LHP) after all the damage was done. He struck-out 4 Cowboys in almost two innings of relief and kept the score from hitting 20 or more. Final score: Alpine Cowboys 19 – Santa Fe Fuego 5. Santa Fe fell to 3 and 5 while the Cowboys evened their record at 2 and 2. Extra Innings … Game 1: Corrections: (1) RHP Alfredo Caballero; the 2011 Pecos League Pitcher of the Year, has returned to the Cowboys; not Reed Alfieri as previously reported, who is now with league rivals, the Roswell Invaders; (2) It is Cowboy 1B Justin McDavid, not McDaniels. He was hit by the pitcher in his first two Friday night at bats; (3) It is Cowboy’s RHP Chris Welborn, not Welborne … The large number of youngster participating in the pre-game ceremonies to honor area baseball and softball teams made it quite understandable where the high school gets quality players learning their game; in organized fashion with dedicated adult supervision, at an early stage of development ... The first scare of the season came in the 6th inning when RHP Chris Welborn took what appeared to be a nasty shot to his throwing hand from a wicked rocket blasted back to the mound, speeding non-stop into center field. It turned him around as he collapsed face-first. Fans thought that was that for an unknown number of starts. Instead, Hand of Steel shook it off and returned to pitch to several more batters and record another of his 5 strike-outs … KVLF’s early morning voice, Ray Hendryx, mentioned that Fuego catcher and Australian born Kiren Bradford was a former Continental League Big Bend Cowboy, an excellent minor league catcher and welcomed him back to Kokernot (appreciating he did not beat his former team) … Game 2: … The attendance figures were not announced, but the crowd was down from Opening Day … Police, Sheriff and State Police sirens announced each convoy as they approached Alpine High School (across the street from the right field wall) and the crowd began to applaud … Before the 7th inning, the announcer introduced the teams to even more applause and appreciation for moving ahead in their respective baseball and softball playoffs … the first 3 Cowboy games were tight contests with exquisite fielding and pitching; whereas this game was an unmitigated blow-out; nonetheless featuring more good Cowboy defense and all the hitting imaginable … Alpine had 21 hits; batted around in two consecutive innings (6th & 7th) and took advantage of numerous Fuego errors and walks … Kudos: I am eternally grateful to fellow fans and friends in the stands, Debbie Allison & Wayne Cline and Randy & Sherry Jackson for Game 1 and the Allison & Cline team with the addition of Bob Young in Game 2 for helping to keep me abreast of the finer details of the sport of baseball while I was pinch hitting for Mike Perry of the Alpine Daily Planet … Thank you, Mike, for letting me call you “Chief” and more than doubling your intended word count for these articles … Game 3 and 4 of Pecos League of Baseball action continues in Alpine, TX with the visiting Santa Fe Fuego at Kokernot Field for a double-header. The first game begins @ 4:05 pm with the nightcap beginning about 30 minutes after the last out is recorded. Get your tickets and we’ll see you at Sunday’s double-header.