TOPEKA, Kans. — It was an exciting night in [auth] Topeka Saturday as a two-hit complete game shutout by Invader pitcher T.J. Pruneda gave Roswell their second win of the young Pecos League season.
“That was T.J. Pruneda’s professional debut, and he just battled to throw strikes,” said manager Bryan Kloppe. “Commanded the ball well. He told me before the game he was going to throw a complete game, and I told him, ‘You better back it up,’ and he did it on 91 pitches.”
Pruneda went nine complete with a perfect game through four, striking out six and walking none in a masterful 12-0 victory over the Topeka Train Robbers. One of the two Topeka hits was nullified on a double play on a strong throw in from rightfielder Roche Woodard, meaning Pruneda faced only one over the minimum on the night.
“It was fantastic,” Kloppe said. “That’s the kind of stuff we need.”
And while Pruneda was setting the Robbers down on the mound, the Invader bats came alive at the plate.
The first three innings were a pitchers’ duel, with no runs on either side and only one hit — a double in the third by Roswell’s Rene Morada. But while Pruneda continued his mastery on the mound, the Invaders finally started hitting Robber Nick Hernandez in the fourth.
Woodard opened with a single, stole second and came home on a single by Joey Miller to make it 1-0. And while that lone run was enough to win, Roswell added to the total in the fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth.
The Invaders added another solo run in the fifth — on singles by Morada, Cody Bishop and Woodard — then made to 5-0 in the sixth with three runs; 9-0 in the seventh with four more; and 12 -0 in the ninth.
Topeka starter and loser Hernandez went six innings, with Roswell scoring off two of the three Train Robber relievers. Only Will Gerhard in the eighth was able to shut the Invader bats down.
Moreda led the Invaders at the plate with a 5-for-5 performance that included two doubles, three runs scored and 2 RBIs. Christian Johnson was 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI and Bishop, Woodard and Cody Coffman were each 2-for-5. Bishop and Coffman doubled.
“Moreda had a great night at the plate,” Kloppe said. “Cody Bishop again coming through big. Really everybody’s putting together really disciplined plate appearances.”
The Invaders will try to make it three in a row Sunday with a final series game over Topeka, then it’s off to Garden City for a four-game set vs. the Wind before coming back to New Mexico May 27 at Santa Fe.