PALM SPRINGS, Calif.-
Game two between the Palm Springs POWER and Menlo Park Legends proved to be a good one, as the home team survived a late scare. The Legends scored three in the ninth to make it a one-run game, but some clutch pitching saved the day.
On Friday night it was a seven-run eighth inning that proved the difference. Saturday though, they got their business done a bit earlier. Scoring in four-straight innings (2-5), they had it wrapped up sooner in the ballgame.
Tyler Wells took the hill for the POWER, and the first inning was a struggle for the righty. The Legends scored five runs, placing the home team in an early hole. But, it was far from over.
Legends right fielder Tommy Bell doubled to drive in two, and he scored the third run of the game. Shortly after, third baseman Manny Menocal doubled to plate another two runs. POWER manager Harry Gurley was ejected, and it really lit a fire under the lads.
It didn’t take long for the POWER to respond. They loaded the bases in the bottom of the second, and pulled two runs back on a Cody Gaertner single. Zach Davis laid down a bunt to drive in Dylan Garcia, and legged it out to reach first too. A passed ball allowed Gaertner to score, reducing the deficit to just one run.
They’d level the score in the home half of the third, as a Daniel Sander sacrifice fly drove in Miles Bice. Moments later, the POWER completed the comeback, taking the lead when Garcia’s single drove in Chad Clark, who had just doubled.
Wells ended up settling in nicely, working 1-2-3 innings in the second, third, and fourth. His team would tack on another insurance run in the fourth, making it seven unanswered. He left the game after five innings, and picked up his first win of the season.
Menlo Park starter Shane Groth left the game after 3 2/3 innings. He failed to strike out any batters, and allowed seven earned runs. Groth ended up taking the loss, although his team got a run back in the top of the fifth inning, cutting the POWER lead to 7-6.
Answering instantly were the POWER, as Clark scored in the bottom inning number five to push the lead back to two. It was the third hit of the ballgame for the utility man out of Indiana University. When Clark singled again in the seventh, he raised his average to .386.
Clark scored run number nine for the POWER, on a wild pitch that got past catcher Justin Gubser. Scoring the tenth run was Davis, when Kobie Foppe singled to extend his hitting streak to nine games.
Palm Desert native Max Compton pitched a scoreless eighth, striking out one batter. Tyler Finkler came in for the ninth. It got interesting late, as the Legends got four hits against Finkler, scoring three runs and reducing the deficit to just one. Danny Diaz came in with one out, and was able to induce a game-ending double play to pick up the save.
The POWER are in action again tomorrow for the conclusion of the series against the Legends. First pitch is at 7:05 pm at Palm Springs Stadium, and gates open at 6:00. Every Sunday is a giveaway day, so the first 200 fans will receive a free t-shirt.