Cowboys Win Slugfest Over Fuego 18-9

W.D. Barr
Casanova Donaldson leads the way. He was 6 for 6 with two home runs and four RBI's against the Santa Fe Fuego. Photo not from Sante Fe game but from a recent home game. (Courier Photo: Bryon Garrison)
Casanova Donaldson leads the way. He was 6 for 6 with two home runs and four RBI's against the Santa Fe Fuego. Photo not from Sante Fe game but from a recent home game. (Courier Photo: Bryon Garrison)

The Alpine Cowboys and the Santa Fe Fuego put on a power display on Wednesday scoring 27 runs on 31 hits as the Cowboys out lasted the Fuego 18-9.

Entering the top of the ninth the Cowboys held a 13-9 advantage but on this night a four run lead was tenuous at best. Ryan Richardson and Scotty Hong managed to quell the bats of the Fuego over the final 3 ⅔ innings but Hong made it interesting in the ninth, loading the bases with one out. Craig Massey singled, Aaron Carmen was hit by a pitched and Chris Johnson reached on an error by the Cowboy second baseman. But Hong struck out Dave Brandt and got Tyler Cox to fly out to right to end the game.

The teams combined for 27 runs on 31 hits. There were seven home runs and seven doubles. The pitchers surrendered eleven walks and seventeen singles. Nick Billinger of the Fuego was 2 for 4 with a home run to maintain his season average at .500.

The one through five hitters for the Cowboys went 17 for 27 (.607 average) with five home runs, ten RBIs and fifteen runs scored. Casanova Donaldson was 6 for 6 with two home runs and four RBIs. Tyler Heck went 4 for 5 with two runs scored. John Hotta was 3 for 5  with his first home run of the year, an RBI and four runs scored. Brian Millimen went 2 for 6 with his team leading seventh home run and his team leading 30th and 31st RBIs. Austin Prott  who went 2 for 5 saw his season batting average drop from .456 to .452. Corey Caswell went 2 for 5 with an RBI.

The Cowboys jumped out to an early 11-5 lead after 3 innings and started the ninth ahead 13-9. After Corey Caswell grounded out to lead off the ninth, Scotty Hong drew a walk and John Hotta singled. Casanova Donaldson then hit his second home run of the game to clear the bases and increase the lead to 16-9.  Heck doubled and  Millimen homered to drive in Heck and make the score 18-9. Austin Prott and Riley Smith both grounded out to end the inning.

Jasper Adams started for the Cowboys and went 4.1 innings giving up 7 runs. Andrew Shoemaker relieved Adams, pitched 2.0 innings giving up two runs and picked up the win. According to the official baseball rules a starting pitcher must go five complete innings to get credit for the win. Adams went 4.1 innings and left with a lead that was never relinquished but, rules are rules and Shoemaker gets the win.

The Cowboys can certainly hit but so can the Fuego. Of the first seven hitters in their starting lineup, all are hitting above .322. The Cowboys will have to find a way to cool off the Fuego bats or continue to score 18 runs per game.

The season is now one third complete. The Cowboys have won six in a row and move to 18-5 on the year.

Alpine has three games remaining with the Fuego including a doubleheader beginning today at 3 PM and a single game on Friday before heading to Roswell for a four game set starting on Saturday, June 7th.

The Fuego came into last night’s game with a 14-5 record. They drop 3 ½ games behind the Cowboys. The Roswell Invaders crushed the Douglas Diablos 16-3 to remain 2 ½ games behind the Cowboys at 16-6.   

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