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Invaders’ bullpen blows lead again

July 23, 2016 • Local Sports

The Invaders lost their third game in a row to Alpine Saturday — marking their longest losing streak of the season — with errors making a difference on both sides.
“Couple of big errors and the bullpen didn’t get the job done,” said manager Bryan Kloppe.
Once again, Roswell took an early lead, going up 2-0 in the first when Louis Martini was hit and Cody Coffman, Bobby Webb and Kaohu Gaspar all singled. Then, with two outs, Jim Smith was hit to force in a run home.
The Invaders went up 4-0 in the second when Brett Balkan singled, Rene Moreda reached on an [auth] error, Cody Coffman reached on another error and then Gaspar singled to bring home two with two outs.
Roswell starter David Johnson allowed three runs in the bottom of the second on a hit batter, single and two doubles, and one in the third on two singles and an error. He gave up eight hits, walked two and struck out two.
“David pitched great,” Kloppe said. “He deserved to win.”
The Invaders retook the lead in the top of the fourth when Coffman and Gaspar both walked, Christian Johnson reached on a fielder’s choice and Smith hit a three-run home run. But that was all the scoring Roswell could muster, as Alpine starter Kevin Klaess and relievers Evan Bickett and Adam Ogburn shut the bats down.
The Roswell relievers, meanwhile, didn’t do quite as well.
In the seventh, Mike Scimanico, Kyle Perez and Mike Gomez all pitched, giving up four runs on four hits, a walk, passed ball and two big errors. That put the Cowboys up 8-7, but they added another three runs in the eighth off Gomez and Evan Karre on two walks, a double and a single.
Only Webb, 3-for-5 with an RBI and Gaspar, 2-for-4 with two RBIs, had more than one hit in the game for Roswell. With the Alpine victory, the Cowboys guaranteed themselves at least a tie for third-place in the Pecos League South, meaning the Invaders and Alpine will most likely meet in the first round of the post season.
Was that drive to continue the season what’s made for the three comeback games, coach?
“They’re really pressing toward the playoffs and we’re working on things, so it’s just two different mindsets now,” Kloppe said.
The teams will wrap up their regular season meeting with a 4 p.m. matchup Sunday. Eric Gleese will be on the mound for the Invaders.

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