Cowboys Ride 6 Home Runs To Victory Over Train Robbers

W.D. Barr

Last night in Del Rio, Texas the Alpine Cowboys used a power surge to derail the Las Vegas Train Robbers 16-7 to open their season on the right track.

Josh "Big Country" Cruse, the 6' 7" right handed pitcher from Pocahantas, Arkansas, got his, and the team's first win of the year while Mark Anderson took the lopsided loss for Las Vegas.

The lead off man for the Cowboys, John Hotta, recorded the first hit of the year, singling on a 2-2 count. Casanova Donaldson then reached on an error by the Train Robbers third baseman, Chris Johnson. Not wanting to extend the suspension longer than necessary, Austin Prott went deep for his first home run of the year, a three run blast that scored Hotta and Donaldson with the first RBIs of the year. After Brian Millimen struck out, Fernando Frias powered his first home run of the year and just like that the Cowboys led 4-0.

I don't have the resources to verify this but I think Austin Prott and Fernando Frias set a record last night. In their combined first 6 at bats, Prott and Frias were 5 for 6 with 5 home runs and 7 RBIs. Where is the Elias Sports Bureau when you need them?

The Cowboy catcher, Billy Crowe, led off the second with a single and scored when the Las Vegas first baseman, Kyal Williams booted Donaldson's ground ball.
In the top of the third, Fernando Frias connected for his second consecutive home run to increase the lead to 6-0 Cowboys.

"Big Country" retired the first seven batters he faced with three strikeouts, Cruse would strikeout 8 Train Robbers in his six innings of work. After Cruse struck out Chris Johnson to start the bottom of the third, Brian Millimen, the Cowboys first baseman, committed the first error of the season. As baseball aficianados everywhere will tell you, walks and errors will come back to haunt you. As was the case here. The error allowed catcher Brett Mendoza to reach first. Mark Anderson, the Las Vegas pitcher, then singled to right moving Mendoza to third. After a fly ball out to left, Chris Hughes singled to drive in Mendoza. Cruse hit Miguel Costano with a pitch to load the bases. Gary Owens, the Train Robber centerfielder, singled to drive in two to cut the lead to 6-3. The Train Robbers left fielder, Shane Casey, hit the first home run of the year for Las Vegas in the bottom of the fourth to make the score 6-4 Cowboys.

In the top of the fifth, Austin Prott hit his second home run of the night. Not to be outdone, Fernandao Frias hit his third straight home run of the game two batters later. The score was now 8-4. After a walk to Matt Henrickson and a fielders choice, the Cowboy catcher, Billy Crowe singled to drive in Tyler Heck with the ninth run of the game for Alpine.

Austin Prott reached first on an error in the top of the sixth and scored on Brian Millimen's first home run of the year. Not to take away from Millimen's two run homer, but, the most significant event of the inning, for the Train Robbers, was that they found a way to stop Frias from homering. They got him to pop up to first. The score was now 11-4.

Alpine scored four more times in the seventh on a single, a walk, an error on the first baseman, a hit batter, two more walks and a second hit batter. Clearly the Cowboys can play small ball too. Matt Henrickson, Tyler Heck, Billy Crowe and Riley Smith (a pinch hitter for pitcher Andrew Shoemaker) all scored without benefit of a hit. Cowboys 15-4.

The Train Robbers would score two in the seventh and one more in the eighth around one more run scored by the Cowboys in the eighth but it wasn't enough as the Alpine Cowboys slapped the o6 brand on the Train Robbers this night with a resounding 16-7 victory.

These same two teams meet tonight at 7 PM in Del Rio and then head to Alpine for four more games. Thursday night the 15th of May at 7 PM is the home opener for the Cowboys. Come out and make some noise for your hometown team. Let's pack the stadium for a fun filled night!

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