The Garden City Wind split their home stand against the Trinidad Triggers after Eli Roundtree’s eighth inning grand slam gave Garden City an 8-4 win Friday night at Clint Lightner Stadium.
It was the Wind’s fourth win of the season and their second win in their last three games.
The first inning started off promising for the Wind as Garden City loaded the bases after two singles from shortstop Joey Cecere, and fist baseman Mike Rachu put Garden City in scoring position. Outfielder Ryan Whitt also reached base after being hit by a pitch.
But the threat was short-lived when outfielder Eli Roundtree hit a scorching liner to center field that was snagged by the Triggers’ fielder.
Starting pitcher Trent Carrier had a rough start to the game, after allowing three runs in the second inning. After Trinidad’s Javion Randle started the inning with a double, Kyle Rodriguez closed the inning with a base hit that gave the Triggers a 2-0 lead. Trinidad added one more for an early 3-0 lead.
After a shaky start, the third inning seemed to be where Carrier gained control of his pitches and did not allow another run for the remainder of his six inning outing.
Wind head coach David Peterson knew that his pitcher put the Wind in a situation to win.
“He was unbelievable,” Peterson said of Carrier. “He fills up the zone, he works fast, and he has a great tempo on the mound and I love that.”
Carrier, a California native, had six strikeouts and allowed five hits in six complete innings.
The theme for the Wind for the middle innings was runners left on base. One was left after the third, two in the fourth and one more in the seventh.
The Wind finally broke their drought and scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning after second baseman J.C. Peralta blasted a two run home run to left field, cutting the Trinidad lead to 3-2. The Wind could have taken the lead, but stranded two more runners.
The eighth inning became the turning point of the game for the Wind. After allowing Trinidad’s Reagan Rutledge to score on a ground chopper, which made the score 4-2, the Wind loaded the bases and threatened to score. Rachun drew a bases-loaded walk to make the score 4-3.
A new Trigger pitcher did not change things as Peralta also was walked and brought in the tying run.
With the bases still loaded, Roundtree hit his second home run in as many nights, and brought in all four runs after a line drive cleared the right field fence. The bases-loaded clearing shot put the Wind in front 8-4, and that’s how it ended.
Roundtree was paying close attention to the at-bat before him, and his diligence paid off.
“I saw that he had thrown four balls to J.C. (Peralta), and so I was trying to see a strike or a couple balls, and he threw one strike and threw one away, and I was ready for that third one,” Roundtree said.
Closer Jack Finnegan came in during the ninth inning and preserved the 8-4 win for the Wind.
The win improved the Wind’s season record to 4-11 and still sit fifth in the Mountain Division, eight games behind division leader Alpine Cowboys.
The Wind now travel to Trinidad to finish out the four-game series against the Triggers this weekend. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. Saturday night in Trinidad, Colorado.
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