Invaders’ bullpen falters, surrenders 10-2 lead in loss

July 21, 2016 • Local Sports

Turnabout was fair play in Alpine, Texas, Thursday night as the Cowboys battled back from a 10-2 deficit in the sixth inning to top the Invaders 11-10.
“It was a great start out of Darrel Thompson,” said Roswell manager Bryan Kloppe. “We just didn’t get enough outs at the right time out of the pen.”
Roswell starter Thompson had no trouble against Alpine, holding them to two runs on six hits and two walks through six.
The Invaders, meanwhile, had three three-run innings in the loss.
They went up 3-0 in the first when Louis Martini reached on an error and Cody Coffman and Joey Miller followed up with home runs.
Alpine got its first run in the bottom of the stanza on a homer, then, after two scoreless innings by both teams, the Invaders made it 6-1 in the [auth] fourth on singles by Christian Johnson and Jim Smith, a sac fly by Thompson and an error that loaded the bases. Brett Balkan brought in the first run when he was hit, then Thompson scored on another error on the first out and Balkan came in on the second out.
The Invaders added a lone run in the fifth on Miller’s second home run, then tallied another three in the sixth when Moreda was hit, Coffman singled, then both came home on a Miller double. Johnson then doubled to bring in Miller for the third run of the inning.
“We kept up the pace on our hitting,” Kloppe said.
The last run allowed by Thompson came in the bottom of the sixth on two singles and an error, but after scoring off the Cowboy starter and first reliever, Kyle Bogese and Chris Rodgers held Roswell to a lone hit in the final three innings.
The Invader relievers weren’t so lucky.
Steven Cazares gave up two runs on three hits in the seventh. Mike Gomez allowed four runs on two hits, two walks and a pair of Invader errors before Alex Dandridge struck out the final two batters in the eighth. Then, Mike Scimanico, who took the loss, gave up four runs on three hits and a walk in the ninth, with Alpine’s Crisford Adames hitting a walk-off single to finish off the win.
Why not pull Scimanico in the fateful ninth?
“He was our closer tonight,” Kloppe said. “He didn’t pitch horribly. They got a couple of hits off him. It wasn’t like he was just giving it to them.”
Plus, the manager is looking ahead.
“Right now, we’re preparing for the playoffs so we’ve got to get guys in big situations to be ready,” he said. “It might not be the guys we’d go to in a must-win ballgame, but we’ve got to be prepared for the playoffs.”
With Alpine expected to be the opponent the Invaders will face in the first round of the Pecos League playoffs, Kloppe wants everyone to be ready, and the bats certainly were, at least.
Miller led the Invader offense, going 4-for-5 with three runs on two homers and four RBIs. Johnson was 3-for-5 with one run and an RBI. Coffman was 2-for-5 with a pair of runs and two RBIs, and Smith finished 2-for-3.
The teams will be back in action at 7 p.m. CDT Friday with TJ Pruneda on the mound for Roswell.

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