Grand Prairie jumped out to an early lead with a run driven in by a Brian Myrow double play groundout, following a pair of single by Keanon Simon and Brandon Pinckney. The Sox would tie the game in the third when KC Serna, who singled to get on, crossed the plate on a passed ball. In the same inning, Airhogsâ?? manager Ricky VanAsselberg got ejected arguing balls and strikes from his position in the dugout.
The Airhogs responded quickly in the top of the fourth, scoring on a bases loaded play in which the Sox middle infield were unable to turn two. Myrow walked to lead off the fifth, Andres Rodriguez singled, and then Juan Richardson singled to drive in the Airhogsâ?? third run. The next batter, Frazier Hall grounded to first which brought in Rodriguez to make the score 4-1 into the sixth. Yasutsugu Nishimoto singled to start the inning and would score on potential double play where Pinckneyâ??s slide caused Sox shortstop, Serna to make an errant throw.
Amarillo made it 5-3 in the bottom of the sixth with three doubles in a row by Joe Weik, Cory Patton, and Brandon Jones. The Airhogsâ?? first reliever, David Quinowski faced three batters to start the bottom of the seventh recording an out on David Peralta, whose sacrifice fly scored Chris Valencia to bring the Sox within one. The new pitcher, Marshall Schuler allowed hits to his first two batters faced in that inning, Weik and Patton. Schuler would load the bases with a walk issued to Trey Ford in which the tying run scored on a passed ball during Fordâ??s at-bat. And then Schuler hit Serna with a 0-2 count to give the Sox a 6-5 lead lasting into the ninth.
Bobby Brown called on John Holdzkom to pitch the top of the ninth but when he walked the first two batters; Brown replaced Holdzkom with Cory Patton. Patton got Airhogsâ?? first baseman, Hall to ground into a double play, moving Rodriguez to third. With two outs, Angel Floresâ?? first hit of the game drove in the tying run for the Airhogs. The next batter, Kenny Held would be struckout by Patton.
Amarilloâ??s leadoff man in the ninth was Patton, who walked to start the inning. Brandon Jones hit a single to left which set up a sacrifice bunt dropped down successfully by Ford to move runners into scoring position. Grand Prairie brought their infield in with one out and on a 2-0 count, Justin Dowdyâ??s wild pitch allowed Patton to score the winning run. On that play, Patton became the winning pitcher because of his appearance in the ninth. Patton also went three for four at the plate as the Soxâ?? designated hitter.
The starting pitcher for the Sox was Jason Johnson, who pitched five innings, giving up four runs on seven hits with four walks and four strikeouts. Grand Prairieâ??s starter, Jake Cowan went six innings and gave up three runs on nine hits while walking two and striking out two. Kristiam Linares went one and a third in his debut at home for the Sox, allowing one run, unearned on two hits with one strikeout. Erik Draxtonâ??s scoreless one and two-thirds innings rendered no hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
Cory Patton (W, 1-0) recorded all three outs in the ninth, allowing one hit and striking out one. Justin Dowdy (L, 0-3) pitched the eighth and one out in the ninth as he gave up one run on two hits while walking a batter.
With the win and series victory, the Sox improve to 6-10, while the Airhogs drop to 5-9 on the season. Monday, the Sox host Gary-South Shore in the first of a three-game series. The game is set to begin at 7:05pm with the Aqua One Pre-Game Show at 6:55pm on Ustream via www.amarillosox.com. Game time is tentative and is subject to blackout.
Season tickets are available for purchase in-person by visiting the Sox Front Offices at 801 S. Polk or over the phone by calling (806) 242-4653. For more information on tickets, game times and schedules, promotions, marketing opportunities, and everything else Sox, visit the â??Official Website of the Amarillo Soxâ?? at www.amarillosox.com.