Pitchers dominate in DH split between Alpine, Roswell
Roger Bernal tags second and throws to first in a double play that saw LOgan Lotti out at second. Chad Kruse didn't have to do anthing except watch. (Photo by Karen Boehler)
Roswell 6, Alpine 1
By Karen Boehler
Pecos League writer
ALPINE, Texas — Pitchers dominated in both games in Alpine Saturday, with Roswell taking a 6-1 victory in the opener and Alpine coming back to win 5-2 in the nightcap.
Take away the starting pitcher in Game 1, and Alpine and Roswell had a pitcher’s duel. Invader Andrew Shoemaker pitched seven complete — the first complete game for Roswell this season — allowing only four hits and one run; the run on a blast over the left field fence by Joel Carranza.
“Shoemaker did great,” said Roswell manager Chris Ebright. “He threw all his pitches for strikes and I tell you what, there’s a lot of lefties in the league who are really mowing teams down by throwing all their pitches for strikes. He’s one of them and he did a great job.”
Alpine manager Ryan Stevens agreed.
“I have nothing but good things to say about the starting pitcher for them the first game,” he said. “He kept us off balance. His change-up was working. He just diced us up. He threw a really good game.
“And I tell you what. I’ve only seen about three or four pitchers do that in Kokernot Field at my five years here. Come in and just shove the way he did. So that was impressive.”
But Cowboy starter Derrick Mitchell wasn’t, giving up six Invader runs, all earned, on eight hits and one walk in two innings to give the visitors a 6-1 victory.
After a scoreless first inning, Roswell scored all their runs in the second with two outs — something they’ve become very good at doing. Andrew Deeds led got a two-out single; Shoemakers walked and Reggie Taylor doubled in two. Taylor then scored on a Chad Kruse single before Ryan Normoyle grounded out.
Carranza made it 3-1 with his blast in the bottom of the second, but the Invaders added three in the third, and after that, the scoring shut down.
Roger Bernal walked to open the third, then Vincent Mejia followed that with a matching left-field home run to make it 5-1. One out later, Nate Theunissen singled and, after a pitching change, a fly ball by Shoemaker scored the final Roswell run.
After that, the game belonged to the pitchers, as Shoemaker completed his effort, and Josh Cruse, Kris Barone, Jeremy Burright and Sean Rockey wrapped up for the Cowboys, allowing only two more Invader hits.
“Our bullpen, even in the first game, was pretty lights out,” Stevens said. “They did what they were supposed to do and I was pretty proud of them. Our starter got in some trouble. Left the ball up a couple of times and got hurt.”
Shoemakers sounded happy, not only with his pitching but even with his hitting.
“I feel really good today,” he said. “Obviously, throwing every pitch for a strike kept them off balance, so that’s really what it was. They’re a really good hitting team. About the RBI, I really just kind of lucked out. I got a fast ball and kind of got it in the air.”
He was cheered on throughout the game by family, who came from around Texas and across the country to see him pitch.
Ebright hopes they show up every time the lefty pitches, while Shoemaker was just happy to see them.
“A lot of them I haven’t seen in a few years. They’re just from the kind of area, so it’s definitely good to see them.”
The pitcher was asked wjhat the team, that was beaten badly Friday, did to turn things around Saturday.
“Really, we are professional ball players, so we understand there are a lot of games we’re going to lose,” he said. “So it’s not really how you lose, it’s how you come back from the loss. So it’s a new day. New pitches. New hitting. So we just come out and kind of flush it.”
Alpine 5, Roswell 2
Game 2 also saw strong pitching, with Cowboy Brian Smith, who shut out Roswell the first time the two teams met, giving up two runs but still winning 5-2 with a complete-game effort.
“He did a complete game, but I think they beat us 8-0 when they were at our place,” Ebright said. “We saw him the second time and we did a lot better. So maybe the next time we’ll get him.”
Alpine had a big third inning in the nightcap — the third seems a problem for the Invaders — scoring four runs on four hits and an error off JOrdan Lehman.
After Brycen Bell was hit, catcher Conor Thompson sent a shot out of Kokernot Park, making it 2-0. Derrick Fox and Tyler Rost followed with singles, which was it for Lehman. An error to the first batter Eric Lehman faced brought in Fox, then, one out later, Logan Lotti singled to make it 4-0.
The Invaders got their first runs of the year off Smith in the fifth when Kruse tripled and scored on an out, then Bernal homered to cut the lead to 4-2. The Cowboys got their final run in the sixth off Jesus Carlos when Smith reached on a fielder’s choice, advanced on a walk and scored on another Roswell error.
Roswell threatened in the top of the seventh, putting runnersat first and second with only one out, but the Cowboys closed the game with a double play.
“(Smith) threw a good game,” Stevens said. “I was proud of him and we were able to get that double play at the end before they really started to get after us and he made a good pitch. In fact, that was his last batter. But regardless, it’s good baseball between the two teams and I think it’s going to be a fight to the finish between the two of us.”
“Especially doubleheaders, you want to get them both at home and split on the road. So we’ll take it,” Ebright said. “Obviously, we wanted to win both. We showed at the end that we can make adjustments on what a pitcher’s throwing and we did OK.”
With one more game at Kokernot Sunday — a 1:05 p.m. start — Steves still expects more from his team.
“As a whole, I’m not unhappy about today, but it’s still unacceptable, especially in Kokernot Field,” he said. “We’re still not playing the best baseball. We’re still not hitting it great. When I say we’re not playing our best baseball, we’re not putting it together. Because there’s been times when we’re just hitting the crap out of the ball and then not pitching well.”
Andrew Shoemaker pitched the first complete game for Roswell Saturday, allowing only four hits in the 6-1 victory. (Photo by Karen Boehler)
Joel Carranza Celebrates a home run in the first game of the double header. (Photo by Stephanie Ballard)
Reggie Taylor comes in with the third Roswell run of Game 1 before catcher Billy Crowe can get the ball out of his glove. (Photo by Karen Boehler)
Kenshoku Takubo dodges a close one. (Photo by Stephanie Ballard)
Matthew Faiman made a great catch in right in Saturday's second game, ending a big Alpine inning. (Photo by Karen Boehler)
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