AirHogs Outlast Boulders in 11June 19, 2012 - American Association (AA) Grand Prairie AirHogs
The long night did not begin auspiciously for the 'Hogs or starter Josh Strawn, with a bunt single by Chris Valencia, a single by Qualon Millender and a three-run home run by Brachold off the leftfield foul pole to put the Boulders on top 3-0.
Grand Prairie (20-10) battled back in the third off Boulders starter Bobby Blevins, getting four-straight one-out hits and to tie the game.
But Strawn walked Cole Kraft with two outs in the fourth, and Chris Valencia homered to right-center to put Rockland (13-15) back on top.
Keanon Simon and Brachold exchanged solo homers leading off their respective halves of the fifth inning, giving the Boulders a 6-4 lead, but the AirHogs came back to win when trailing going into the ninth for the first time this year.
They got one run closer on a Chris McMurray single in the eighth against Garrett Johnson, and the comeback was completed - for the time being - in the ninth against closer Adrian Martin. Yasutsugu Nishimoto led off with a booming double to right-center, and after Simon lined out, Chavez got his pinch-hit to left-center. Then, after Brian Myrow was intentionally walked, Andres Rodriguez hit a chopper to third that the Boulders tried to turn a double play on. The second baseman Cole Kraft tried to relay the ball to first, but it skipped by Ryan Scoma far enough to allow Chavez to score from second and give Grand Prairie the lead for the first time.
But Grand Prairie closer Justin Dowdy was tagged with his first blown save of the year - giving pup back-to-back one-out doubles to Ryan Mollica and Scoma to tie the game. The lefty got into further trouble with a hit off his leg by Matt Nandin and an intentional walk to Jonathan Smith, before falling behind Orlando Mercado 3-0. Dowdy battled back to a full count, and after Mercado fouled off a pair of 3-2 pitches, Dowdy struck him out swinging, before getting out of the inning when he got Kraft to fly out to center.
Chris Rubio (0-3) and Griffin Bailey (2-0) set down the sides in the 10th, but Nishimoto began the 11th with a walk, the first unintentional free pass issued by the Boulders in the game. After Simon bunted him to second, Chavez lined another hit to left-center to put the AirHogs in front again - this time for good.
Derrick Miramontes allowed a leadoff double to Nandin in the bottom of the 11th, but he finished off his first save by striking out Kraft to give the AirHogs their first extra-inning win of the season.
Notes: The Boulders left 14 men on base...Myrow had three this in addition to two intentional walks...Strawn had not allowed a home run in his first five starts before giving up the three in this game...11 players had multiple hits in the game...The five relievers used by Grand Prairie is a season-high...The AirHogs are now 1-1 in extra innings after losing in 10 to Wichita on June 2. Bailey got the decision in both games.
The 2011 American Association Champion Grand Prairie AirHogs continue their four-game series against the Rockland Boulders of the Can-Am League on Tuesday, June 19, at 6:05 p.m. The next home game at QuikTrip Park is Friday, June 29, at 7:05 p.m. against the Amarillo Sox. That night is QuikTrip Night, with free ticket vouchers available at local QuikTrip stores. All games are aired live and for free on Ustream by clicking on the link on the AirHogs' home page or visiting http://www.ustream.tv/channel/airhogs-baseball with selected contests aired on Time Warner Cable's Texas Channel. For information on tickets, promotions, advertising, and other opportunities with the AirHogs, check out the Web site at www.airhogsbaseball.com, or call the QuikTrip Park office at (972) 504-9383.
American Association Stories from June 19, 2012
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