Invaders Belt Five Home Runs in Edging Kamloops
Prince George, B.C. – The Roswell Invaders rode into town with a reputation of having some big sluggers who can belt the ball out of the park. And while they did that Saturday afternoon, the Kamloops Sun Devils showed that they are a force to be reckoned with in the coming week of baseball.
Saturday’s contest was the opener for both clubs at the Ramada Inn World Baseball Challenge at Citizen Field. Kamloops didn’t score in the first two innings. In fact Roswell starting pitcher Eric Gleese struck out the side in the second. The Invaders scored their first run in the bottom of the first on centre fielder Cody Bishop’s solo home run. They did not score in the second and led 1-0 after two.
The Sun Devils got things going in the third inning. Gleese walked the first two men and second baseman Brad Bitz laid down a bunt single to load the bases with nobody out. Third baseman Brendan Hegel drove in two runs with a single but a double play ball and a ground out killed the rally, leaving Kamloops with a 2-1 lead.
Roswell responded in the bottom of the third. A walk was followed by a single and then third baseman Cody Coffman stepped up to the plate. “Sweet” was the comment from the guy in the stands to the sound of the launch of that ball that sailed far beyond the back fence of the right field beer garden. That thing was crushed. Three RBIs for Coffman and the Invaders led 4-2.
Neither team scored in the fourth. Kamloops got things going with two out in the fifth. Erik Herbranson and Hegel beat out balls hit to the infield. DH Ian Horne hit an RBI single to centre, left fielder Brandon Hunter hit an RBI single to right and a walk to Rob Morrison loaded the bases. But the rally died when Right fielder Ethan Mohan took a called third strike.
It was 4-4 halfway through the fifth, but again, Roswell answered the Sun Devil’s offensive output with a pair of solo home runs. Bishop hit his second of the game, this one landing inside the beer gardens. And first baseman Joey Miller smacked one over the fence in left centre. 6-4 Roswell after five and they scored another on a double, single and RBI sac fly to right to lead 7-4 after six.
Kamloops got one back in the seventh but again a rally died with a called third strike. Roswell made it 8-5 when Kaohu Gaspar hit the team’s fifth home run of the game over the wall in left centre, but the Sun Devils showed their grit in the ninth.
Hunter walked then took second on a wild pitch. Morrison struck out but the ball eluded the Invaders’ catcher and Morrison beat the throw to first. Mohan grounded to third but was safe on a throwing error. A run scored on that play and runners were now on second and third with nobody out. Shortstop Jared Frew grounded out to short but drove in another run. That made it 8-7 Roswell. However, Mohan was picked off at second and Clark took a called third strike to end the game.
Roswell had 11 hits, Kamloops 9. The Sun Devils made two errors to one for the Invaders.
The Saturday night game had the Thurston County Generals facing Canada Sidearm Nation, with Nation scoring a 6-5 victory.
Today its Japan against Roswell at 4 pm, Kamloops facing Thurston County at 8 pm.