All-around Invader effort gives them win No. 10
Alpine's Derrick Fox is tagged out at home by Mike McCarthy after trying to score on a double by Casanova Donaldson. (Photo by Geoff Gunn)
By Karen Boehler
Pecos League writer
ROSWELL — The Invaders continue to mow down their opposition, moving to 10-1 on the season Friday with a 10-5 victory over Alpine.
Roswell continued to look good in all facets of the game, but even though the Invaders put up their 10 runs on nine hits, manager Chris Ebright said his team still needs to hit better.
“We got 10 runs but their pitching helped that,” he said. “I don’t know how many walks to strikeouts they had — obviously I’ll take that — but we’re going to come across some pitchers who aren’t going to do that. So we’re going to have to get better in that sense.”
The Cowboys did have a tough time on the mound and defensively, and that’s something manager Ryan Stevens is not happy with.
“The fact is, with us, I’ve never seen us make this many errors and it’s not acceptable and the boys know that,” he said. “But the biggest problem is our pitching. We’re walking way too many people. I think it was 15 guys who we walked and hit by pitch.”
Four Cowboy pitchers actually walked 12, hit one batter and threw four wild pitches, with starter Mike Castrignano unable to strike out any batters on seven walks. Reliever Derrick Mitchell — who only allowed two Invader runs in 3.1 innings — struck out five and only walked two.
Roswell’s pitchers, on the other hand, were solid, with one exception.
“All except the third inning, Chad Hardison did great,” Ebright said. “Jacob Cook looked the best he’s been this year and Ryan Rogers does his thing the last two innings. Another game, three pitchers. It helps us out in the bullpen the rest of this weekend.”
The Invaders put up two runs in the first when Chad Kruse and Ryan Normoyle walked and came home on a Roger Bernal single. Roswell made it 4-0 in the second when a walk, error and two outs put runners on second and third, and Chad Hardison came in on a wild pitch with an error then scoring Kruse.
But Alpine made it a game at least for one inning when Billy Crowe walked to open the third then, two outs later, Casanova Donaldson was hit, Logan Lotti walked to load the bases and Joel Carranza hit a four-run blast out of the park to tie the game.
That huge hit, as well as some near misses, made Stevens less unhappy with his offense.
“Offensively, I will say, and this is no excuse and I’m not making excuses, but the fact is we scorched about seven or eight balls right at people. Derrick Fox scorched about two or three right to the fence and the wind didn’t seem to be carrying them. Casanova hammers a ball to right center. Without the wind like that, that ball’s flying out of here.”
And Roswell did make some solid defensive plays — committing only one error — including throwing Fox out at home after he reached on that lone error in the first.
“I sent D Fox home on that play,” Stevens said. “It took a perfect throw on both ends to get him out at home and they did. They’re a mentally sound team. They’re a quality team, that’s for sure.”
The tie didn’t last long, as the Invaders made it 5-4 in the bottom of the third on an error, and 7-4 in the fourth when Bernal singled, VIncent Mejia walked and Andrew Deeds doubled them home.
The Invaders added a solo run in the seventh when pinch hitter Matthew Faiman doubled and came home on an Erick Gaylord single and wild pitch, then added their final two in the eighth on two bases-loaded walks. After Carlos Camacho reloaded the bases, Kris Barone came in to pitch and got the final out on a magnificabt catch by shortstop Brycen Bell.
And Alpine got its final run off Rogers when Kenshoku Takubo hit a solo home run, but that was it for the Cowboys.
Stevens said he hasn’t lost faith in his young team, and knows they can play better then they’re showing.
“We’re not even close to playing our best baseball,” he said. “In fact, I don;’t think we’re playing really well at all. We’ve got to find a way to come through and we’ve got to find a way of hitting our spots. Pitchers have to come in ready to go, no matter the strike zone of the umpire. It doesn’t matter. There’s no excuse for that. We’ll be back out here tomorrow. That’s a promise.”
And so will the Invaders, including a familiar face. Reggie Taylor, an outfielder who hit .360 with 11 home runs for Roswell last year, will rejoining the team.
“I’m excited to get a veteran guy back, and especially a guy with his pop,” Ebright said. “Even more of a batter in our lineup. I really don’t think we’re where we’re going to be yet. I thing we’re still getting better. We just have to keep working every day.”
Invader Chad Kruse rounds third and heads home to score after a single by Ryan Normoyle in the second inning. (Photo by Geoff Gunn)
Alpine second baseman Derrick Fox makes the catch. (Photo by Geoff Gunn)
Invader starting pitcher Chad Hardison got the win over Alpine Friday. (Photo by Geoff Gunn)
Roger Bernal had some solid putouts at short, robbing the Alpine hitters. (Photo by Geoff Gunn)
Roz the Roswell alien made a triumphant return to Joe Bauman Stadium Friday, and spent some time with Moses Mejia from El Paso, father of Invader Vincent Mejia. (Photo by Geoff Gunn)
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