Surprise was the last team standing in a slugfest that saw four lead changes as they downed host Mesa 10-8 on Tuesday afternoon. The Saguaros are one-half game out of first with an elimination number of two.
The two squads combined for 21 hits in a contest that was tough on pitchers. Each side threw six hurlers at the opposition with the longest Saguaro stint coming from Red Sox Ryan Pressly and Ranger Jimmy Reyes, who tossed two frames apiece. Reyes picked up his first save and Chase Huchingson (NYM) upped his record to 2-1 by being the pitcher of record when Surprise took the lead for the final time.
Mike O'Neill, Colin Walsh and Cody Stanley all started for the Saguaros. Left fielder O'Neill singled once in four at bats plus added two base-on-balls and a run scored. He was also caught stealing. His sole hit advanced a runner into scoring position in the fourth, leading to an eventual tally that temporarily put Surprise up 6-2.
O'Neill, Surprise's lead off batter, kicked off the sixth with the second of his free passes. Back-to-back singles jammed the sacks full with none out. Colin Walsh's fly out to center was deep enough for O'Neill to race home to knot the game at seven all. Stanley worked a two-out free pass that reloaded the bases for Met Cesar Puello who put the Saguaros up for good with a two-run double to right. That finished the scoring for the inning which left Stanley standing on third.
That base-on-balls by Stanley was the high point of his game as he was one of only two Saguaros to go hitless. Surprise's catcher went 0-for-4, batting sixth. Walsh doubled in four at bats with two strikeouts, a sac fly and an error. That misplay by the right fielder led to an unearned tally by the Solar Sox.
Wednesday's game: at Phoenix, 12:35 pm AZ time (1:35 pm CT), Justin Marks (5-0, 2.21)
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