Munoz back, but Pupfish still cant stop Invaders
Chris Peacock started on the mound for White Sands, giving up seven runs but only three earned. (Photo by Josh Szwaczkowski)
By Karen Boehler
Pecos League writer
ALAMOGORDO — Going on the road couldn’t stop the juggernaut that is the Roswell Invaders, as they topped White Sands 15-6 in the Aquarium Tuesday to up their win streak to eight games. But while the Pupfish lost, they had one thing to celebrate as manager Ernie Munoz finally joined the team, promising changes that he hopes will help the squad right itself.
“I’ve been talking to the guys while I was gone, now I’ve seen it first hand, so I know the changes that need to be made,” he said. “I was going off what other guys were telling me, but it’s always better to see it with your own two eyes and now that I’ve seen it, I think I know the changes I need to make and I’ll make them.”
Tuesday, the problem was too many errors, some shaky pitching and not enough timely hits. Roswell only used three pitchers — starter Ryan Richardson and reliers Scott Elitzky and Eric Lambe — and made their hits count.
“Richardson, Elitzky and Lambe. Three pitchers in one game. That’s great,” said Roswell manager Chris Ebright. “They threw strikes. White Sands, they hit the ball pretty hard and right at a couple of our guys, so we got lucky in a sense in a couple of innings because another two inches higher and it would have been an RBI double. But still, that’s the game of baseball. But our pitchers did very well tonight and our hitters got on base and we put pressure on some people.”
The Invaders sent eight batters to the plate in the first, starting off when CHad Cruse reached on a two-base error. Pupfish starter Chris Peacock then got the next two batters batters, but Ryan Normoyle’s sac bunt scored Cruse, and the final out was hard to come by.
Vincent Mejia doubled into the net in left field, Charles DUbanski and Nate Theunissen walked and Andred Deeds hit a three-run double.
White Sands scored one in the bottom of the first when Monoz — catching as well as managing — singled and scored on singles by Mike Mendoza and Cody Collins.
Roswell made it 5-1 in the third on a solo home run by Mejia, then added two more in the fourth on two errors, with Cruse scoring on a passed ball Mejia bringing in Roger Bernal on a single
The Pupfish had their biggest inning in the bottom of the third.
Richardson walked George Ban, allowed a Chris DeBiasi single and Jerry Gonzales RBI double and a 2 RBI J.J. Constantino seeing-eye single, a shot that bounced off Richardson’s glove and then right under the glove of the second baseman.
Neither team scored in the fifth but Roswell added another five runs in the sixth on five hits, a hit batter and an error and another three in the eighth on a ground-rule RBI double by Erick Gaylord and a ground out.
Reliever Andrew Parrish helped end the inning wneh a Normoyle shots bounced off his glove and he was still able to recover in time to throw it to first for the out.
The White Sands fans had a little bit to cheer about in the bottom of the eighth when Collins singled, Ryan Pembroke walked and Collins came in on an error. Two wild pitches later and Pembroke came in with the final Pupfish run.
Munoz, who was 2-for-4 with a run scored as a player, said as the manager, he knows what needs to be done to get the team back on track.
“I saw a lot of people who are injured on our team, who haven’t been telling me that,” he said. “I didn’t know the injuries that had occurred and I had guys out there playing hurt, so I’ve got to take care of that and get some fresh legs in there. Our pitchers, they just need to pound the zone. They need to throw more strikes and they all know that. We’re going to talk about that right now and hopefully going forward we’re going to fix that.”
Ebright said while the fans may be talking about the Invader win streak, the players aren’t.
“It’s just the way it goes. In a season like this, with so many games, you can win six, seven eight in a row then the next week lose five, six, seven in a row. Obviously we’re playing well. Confidence is great with these guys and we’ll just keep taking it one day at a time.”
Christian Ramirez is caught in a pickle, tagged out by Invader shortstop Ryan Bernal. (Photo by Josh Szwaczkowski)
Pupfish player/manager Ernie Munoz gets a hit in his first time at bat after returning to Alamogordo. (Photo by Josh Szwaczkowski)
Erick Gaylord makes a pinpoint throw from left field. (Photo by Josh Szwaczkowski)
Roswell catch Charles Dubanoski takes ball one before getting one of his two hits on the night. (Photo by Josh Szwaczkowski)
Gordo the Pupfish and a fan heckle the opposing team. (Photo by Josh Szwaczkowski)
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