“Play Ball!” Those two words that every baseball player, coach, and fan love to hear rang loudly at 7:05 PM on Friday night at Palm Springs Stadium as the Palm Springs POWER opened their season with a win against the visiting Casa Grande Cotton Kings by a final score of 8-3.
The POWER took an early 1-0 lead in the first, off of a Chett Zeise RBI single, scoring Brett Christopher. The POWER scored once more before the Cotton Kings tied things up in the fifth and took a 3-2 lead in the sixth. However, the POWER surged back in the seventh for a six-run inning.
Casa Grande pitcher Billy Bowler walked in the game-tying run and hit the next batter to give the POWER a 4-3 lead. The scoring did not stop there. POWER first baseman John Haberman stepped up to the plate and drove a Bowler pitch down the right field line and cleared the bases. Haberman advanced to third on the throw and later came around to score the POWER’s eighth and final run of the night.
Aaron Brooks started the game for the POWER and put in an impressive performance, striking out five Casa Grande batters before he reached his allotted pitch total for the night. Brooks surrendered only one hit and one walk through three scoreless innings. Travis Barnes helped get fellow POWER pitcher Dustin Ispas out of trouble in the sixth and struck out seven while giving up just one hit, no walks, and no runs in his three-plus innings pitched. Barnes’s shutdown performance was enough to earn him the victory.
The POWER also received solid defensive play behind the plate from catcher Chris LeFay as he flashed his alertness while picking off Casa Grande’s Kevin Odom following a triple in the fourth. POWER second baseman, Zack Haley, came around to score twice while showing outstanding hustle to get on base for an infield single in his first at-bat.
The POWER return to action again on Saturday night against Casa Grande. Saturday is Desert Regional Medical Center Night and Palm Springs Youth League Night. First-pitch is set for 7:05 PM at Palm Springs Stadium.