Lions top Apollos despite big inning by Houston
By Karen Boehler
Pecos League writer
HOUSTON — A big sixth-inning comeback wasn’t quite enough for the Apollos Monday, as they fell 9-6 to Galveston on the penultimate day of the Pecos League season. IT was a big win for the Sea Lions, who had a slow start to the season but have come on towards the end.
“We gave up six runs in the sixth but we won 9-6, so we’re good,” said Galveston manager J.D. Droddy. “One rough inning, but the good innings we scored nine. The bad inning, we only gave up six so that’s called a win. We’ll take it.”
Lions starter Josh Cruse shut the Apollos down through the firsrt four innings, allowing only two hits and walking two. Houston starter Ryan Flores only gave up one run on one hit — Edgar Quintana reached on a dropped third strike and scored on a wild pitch — but reliever Matt Paradowski had a hard time in the third, giving up four runs on three hits, a walk and an error.
“Every time he pitched, we’ve lost,” said Apollo manager Andrew Dunn. “He’s just not in shape right now. He’s not the pitcher we know he is.”
With one out, James Hall reached on an error and Frank Florio, the league’s leading hitter, walked. Phillip Roscoe then tripled, scoring both, and after a fielder’s choice by Derick Dominguez that caught Roscoe off base, Robert Diperio and Quintana both singled, with Dominguez and Diperio scoring on Quintana’s single.
Houston loaded the bases but couldn’t score in the fourth, and Paradowski could only get one out in the bottom of the stanza.
Josh Cruse singled, and after a strike out, James Hall doubled and Florio walked. Phillip Roscoe then singled, scoring Cruse and Hall, and that was it for Paradowski.
With Richard Suniga in in relief, Dominguez reached on an error and Sungia walked Robert Diperio, scoring Florio. One out later, Miguel Soto singled, and the Lions were up 9-0.
Justin Willis came in for Cruse in the fifth, getting the side 1-2-3 with two strikeouts, and while Suniga walked one and gave up a single, the Lions were scoreless in the bottom of stanza.
But Willis had some trouble in the sixth, allowing four of the Apollo’s six runs.
Andrew Azzorpardi doubled, Larry Rodriguez singled and Ruben Rijkhof singled, scoring both. After Cameron Powers walked, Droddy brought in Scott Elitzky in relief, and after getting the first out, Jordan Segura singled, scoring Rijkhof. Pinch hitter David Harrison singled, scoring Powers, and after Matt Leahy reached on a fielder’s choice, Hunt and Harrison scored on an error.
But Elitzky then struck out Azzopardi for the third out, and shut the Apollos down in the seventh to preserve the win.
“We played really, really well in all phases of the game,” Droddy said. “We played really well on defense. We hit well. And Josh Cruse pitched the first four and shut them out those four.”
Galveston got hitting from across the board, led by Roscoe, who was 2-for-4, with one run and 4 RBI. Azzopardi and Rijkhof were each 2-for-4, and Rodriguez 2-for-3.
Although Dunn sounded frustrated with the loss, he seemed pleased with the comeback.
“They were beating us up and we came back. The game was over,” he said.
THe Apollos close out their season Tuesday at 10 a.m. vs. the Vaqueros — win or lose, they’ve won the league — while the Lions take on the Gears at 1 p.m.
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