Invaders rally, but fall to White Sands

June 29, 2016 • Local Sports

For the second game in Alamogordo, the Invaders couldn’t come back against a Pupfish lead, falling 12-7 despite a late game-comeback and loading the bases in the ninth.
“it was a wild game, said field manager Bryan Kloppe, who got himself tossed from the game after sticking up for his first base coach.
White Sands starter Anthony Pastrana had a solid five innings vs. Roswell, holding the visitors to just five hits through the fifth. And while he was holding the Invaders scoreless, the Pupfish jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
“He pitched well,” Kloppe said of Pastrana. “They just got some timely hits and played well.”
Roswell starter Blake Oliver gave up the four runs on four hits, a hit batter and an error.
The home team [auth] then added solo runs in the second, third and fourth, going up 7-0 after five. But the Invader bats finally started putting things together in the sixth.
Bobby Webb and Jim Smith each doubled; Blake Skelton, Gavin Lavalee and Oliver each singled, then Christian Johnson cleared the bases with a three-run home run, closing the gap to 7-5 and sending Pastrana to the showers.
But Roswell couldn’t hold that lead, as Oliver gave up four more Pupfish runs in the bottom of the stanza.
The Invaders battled back with two more in the seventh on a Smith walk, single by Lavalle and double by Christian Johnson, but White Sands added an insurance run in the eighth off reliever Kyle Perez before Lance Fairchild came in to shut the inning down.
Roswell fought in the ninth, scoring one run on a one-out walk to Gaspar and singles by Johnson and Balkan. With two outs, Cody Coffman walked to load the bases but after a defensive change, Webb flew out for the final out of the game.
The Invaders matched the hit total of the ‘Fish, with 16 hits each, but 14 Roswell runners were stranded.
Pitcher Oliver led the hitting, going 2-for-3 with one run and one RBI. Johnson was 3-for-5 with one run and 5 RBIs; Coffman 2-for-4; Lavalle 2-for-5 with two runs; Balkan 3-for-6 with an RBI; and Rene Moreda 2-for-6.
The game saw the Invader debut of pitcher Alex Dandridge, who had a tough night, giving up two hits and a walk, but Thomas Huddleston replaced the newcomer, getting Roswell out of the sixth inning with three Pupfish stranded.
Still, Kloppe was pleased with Dandridge.
“He pitched well. He hit 90, 91,” the manager said. “The two hits were just kind of dinky hits. He pitched well.”
The Invaders now have a long trip to Tucson, where they’ll face the league-leading Saguaros at the Kino Sports Complex Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday, with a doubleheader in Bisbee Sunday.
Roswell lost a big chance to narrow he gap between the Invaders and Tucson as the Saguaros also fell Wednesday, 5-4 to Santa Fe. And Roswell is losing Joey Miller, who’s headed to the Can-Am League.
But Kloppe isn’t worried, saying they’ll come back against the leaders.
“We’ve got a chance tomorrow. We gave Bishop and Woodard and off day, and Gaspar will be back tomorrow.”

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