PALM SPRINGS – The POWER (15-1, 6-1) outlasted the High Desert Heat (4-7, 2-7) on Friday, winning in walk-off fashion for the second consecutive Friday.
T.J. Bennett was the hero for Palm Springs, working a bases-loaded, two-out walk in the bottom of the ninth to force in Anthony Torres with the winning run.
Ryan Harper started for Palm Springs and turned in his best outing of the season, pitching six-plus quality innings while allowing only four hits. Pete Reyes (1-0) earned the win in relief with two scoreless innings.
After a choppy first inning that featured a walk and hit batsmen, Harper rebounded over the next five innings. The right-hander set down nine of the next 10 batters he faced, including five strikeouts in that span. Harper finished the night with eight strikeouts, tying his season-high set on June 8 against Riverside.
With the score still deadlocked in the sixth, the POWER managed to manufacture a run. Eric Urry was hit by Turner to lead off the inning and was bunted to second by Bennett. Urry then moved to third on Jake Howeth’s groundout before Antonio Chavarria singled him home to give Palm Springs the lead.
High Desert answered with a run in the seventh to tie the game. Heat first-baseman Sergio Lujan led off with a walk and then moved to third on a double by Alex Pollard. Pinch-hitter Chris Solis then hit a groundball to second base to score Lujan and tie the game.
After Reyes retired the Heat in the eighth and ninth innings, the POWER pounced on an opportunity to win the game in their half of the ninth. Ryan Jones walked to begin the inning and was pinch-run for by Torres. Michael Massi then crushed a double to left field to move Torres to third.
Brett Sullivan and Ryan Raslowsky were retired and Urry received an intentional pass to set the stage for Bennett. With the bases loaded and the count full, Bennett watched the payoff pitch sail high for ball four to push Torres across and send the POWER home with the victory.
The POWER next play on Saturday night when the Arroyo Seco Saints make their way to Palm Springs; first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Saturday is Kids Day, meaning all fans 12 and under get in for $2. Fans that can’t make it to the game can tune at pspbb.com.