Alpine Cowboys Sweep double header from Las Vegas 5-1 on the Season

W.D. Barr
Brett Kennedy gets the MVP award for game two against the Train Robbers Saturday. He had eight strike outs. (Courier Photo: Bryon Garrison)
Brett Kennedy gets the MVP award for game two against the Train Robbers Saturday. He had eight strike outs. (Courier Photo: Bryon Garrison)

Anthony Figliolia fired a four hit complete game to win the opening game of a double header on Saturday 5-3 over the Las Vegas Train Robbers.

Although the score says 5-3, two runs scored on two errors. One in the first and one in the fourth. The error in the first can be chalked up to an honest to gosh error but the error by the catcher in the fourth was a situational awareness error both of the number of outs and who was at the plate. I'll get to that later.

In the first for the Train Robbers, Brian Brademan singled and raced home on a double by Shane Casey. Casey advenced to third when Alpine shortstop, John Hotta, mishandled the throw from center. The next batter, Gary Owens, reached on a second error by Hotta allowing Casey to score. Without the error that allowed Casey to advance, Casey doesn't score on the second error. Figliolia got the next two batters out.

The Cowboys scored in their half of the first when Lee Jay Pollacchi drew the lead off walk, stole second and scored on a single by Austin Prott. Prott leads the Cowboys in RBIs with 9 through 5 games. Alpine scored two more runs in the third when Austin Prott led off getting hit by a pitch. He went to third on a single by Brian Millimen and both scored on a double by Anthony Renteria to take a 3-2 lead.

Las Vegas got that run back in the top of the fourth. Miguel Castano got on base via another throwing error by shortstop John Hotta. Castano wound up on second. Castano went to third on a passed ball. Then with two outs and the Las Vegas pitcher, Ryan Ward up, Bobby Patton, who had walked, took off for second. This is where the lack of situational awareness comes into play. Runners at the corners and two outs with the opposing pitcher at the plate. The pitcher swings and misses for strike two. Patton takes off running. Billy Crowe, the Cowboy catcher, for some reason attempted to get Patton at second. A bad throw gets by the infielder and allows Castano to score. That run tied the score at three apiece.

Everything turns out okay. In the bottom of the fourth, Billy Crowe drew the lead off base on balls. After Anthony Figliolia struck out the Cowboys sent Casanova Donaldson in to pinch hit for Lee Jay Pollacchi. Donaldson blasted a shot off the center field wall that caromed past the center fielder. Crowe scored easily and Donaldson raced around the bases for an inside-the-park home run. The Cowboys increased their lead to 5-3.

There would be no more scoring as Figliolia retired 10 of the last 12 batters he faced including 7 in a row to end the game. He struck out 8 and walked only 2 to cruise to his first victory, a complete game at that.

The Cowboys used their newest pitcher, Brett Kennedy, who is still not listed on their roster at, to start the second game of the double header and he came away with the 10-2 victory.

Alpine scored first with one run in the bottom of the second. Tyler Heck singled and advanced to second on a throwing error by the Train Robbers shortstop. Heck came around to score on a double by Corey Caswell.

The Cowboys scored another run in the third when Austin Prott singled and scored from first on a double by Matt Henrickson. In another case of situational awareness deficit disorder, for the rest of the season known as SADD, sometimes the Cowboys own worst enemy, Henrickson was caught running to third on a grounder to third by Brian Millimen. I don't know why Henrickson was running with the ground ball in front of him and only one out.

The fourth inning was a very productive one for the Cowboys. They sent eight men to the plate and four scored. Tyler Heck doubled to lead off, Corey Caswell singled him home and after a sacrifice bunt by pitcher Brett Kennedy moved Caswell to second, John Hotta hit a single to plate Caswell. Casanova Donaldson then doubled to put runners at second and third, with one out. Austin Prott singled to right to drive in Hotta and Donaldson. Matt Henrickson struck out and Brian Millimen skyed out to right to end the inning.

Through four complete innings the Cowboys led 6-0 and Brett Kennedy was tossing a perfect game. I tell you this only to prove a point. In baseball you never talk about a perfect game in progress. I must apologize to Brett Kennedy. I broke that rule. In this age of 24/7 sports coverage and social media, I have to say, I posted on my facebook page, these words. "Brett Kennedy Perfect Through 4 with 6 K's". So what you say? Well here's so what. The first Train Robber batter in the top of the fifth, Kyal Williams, took Kennedy deep for a solo home run. Perfect game gone! No hitter gone! Shutout gone! With one swing of the bat. Brett...I apologize.

The Cowboys did score three more in the bottom of the fifth with Corey Caswell's single driving in Anthony Renteria, Brett Kennedy's ground ball double play driving in Tyler Heck and Casanova Donaldson's double scoring John Hotta. The Cowboys scored their tenth run in the sixth as Brett Kennedy drove in Brian Millimen with a single.

The Train Robbers managed a run in the top of the seventh on two Cowboy errors, a ground out double play by pinch hitter Julian McWilliams and a run scoring single by Joe Quinones. It wasn't enough though and the Cowboys swept the double header 5-3 and 10-2. The Cowboys outscored the Train Robbers 56-35 in the six game series. The Alpine Cowboys are now 5-1 in Pecos League play.

Brett Kennedy gave up two runs on four hits while striking out eight. He issued one free pass and gave up the lone home run to earn his first victory as a Cowboy.

Alpine now travels to Douglas, Arizona to take on the Diablos in a five game set before moving 40 miles west to meet the Bisbee Blue for three in Bisbee, Arizona. They return to Alpine on May 27th to face the White Sands Pupfish.

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Coach Stevens: I believe it's Bisbee.  We play Bisbee four games and then Douglas four games. They're both expansion teams. I know a few of the players I've sent a couple of players to those teams. They were on the Cowboy's roster for a short period of time. They should be a strong team. We can't take these teams lightly when we're on the road. It is a difficult environment to win on the road in Minor League baseball. We leave 7am tomorrow morning bright and early for a long road trip and hopefully walk away with 7 or 8 wins.

I believe we are staying in the same hotel some micro-tel. It should be a good time. I've never been to Arizona. the Cowboys have never played in Arizona should be a good time and I am looking forward to the challenge.

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