It didn’t take long for the Garden City Wind to feel good about returning home from a quick two-game road trip to Trinidad, Colo.
Displaying both power at the plate with three home runs and a combined strong pitching effort from four different arms, the Wind breezed past division-leading Roswell, N.M., 6-0, Monday night at Clint Lightner Stadium in Pecos League action.
The Wind struck early, getting back-to-back home runs from Ryan Whitt, a two-run job, and Gavin Lavalle, a solo shot, in the first inning. That put the Wind up quickly, 3-0.
Meanwhile, starting pitcher Dalton Bernardi put in a strong performance on the mound, throwing six innings of shutout ball while limiting the Invaders to just four hits.
Bernardi did struggle with his control, however, issuing six walks while striking out four. But he managed to get out of several jams, the biggest perhaps in the top of the fourth, when Roswell loaded the bases with one out, only to have a bouncer back to Bernardi result in a pitcher-to-shortstop-to-first base inning-ending double play.
Taylor Zeutenhorst led off the Wind’s fourth with a home run, making it 4-0.
The nearly-same scenario unfolded in the top of the fifth, when the Invaders once again got runners on first and second with nobody out, and then with one out, Bernardi induced Kaohu Gaspar into an inning-ending twin-killing (short to second to first).
In the sixth, Bernardi once again found himself on the edge, with Roswell putting runners on second and third with two outs, but he got Caleb Patterson on a swinging third strike to snuff out another potential rally.
When Bernardi came back out for the top of the seventh, he walked Devin Malone on four straight pitches and that’s when Ryan Harper took over.
Harper must have been watching Bernardi, but the Invaders once again loaded the bases only to see Bradley Cuyos go down on strikes to again stop the threat.
The Wind tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the bottom half of the seventh, this time Whitt driving in both with a single, making it 6-0.
Josh Mollett pitched a scoreless eighth, and then Jack Finnegan came in to finish things off. Even then, things weren’t easy, as the Invaders loaded the bases with just one out before Mitch Elliot went down swinging on a third strike. The game came to an end when Finnegan enticed Tobias Moreno into a pop-up to shortstop.
The line on the four-man pitching corps for the Wind was impressive, as they combined for the shutout, gave up just eight hits, walked six while striking out 10.
It had to be a frustrating night for the Invaders as they stranded 15 runners on the bases while the Wind left seven on the bags.
The Wind improve to 15-24 while the Invaders fall to 25-15.
The same teams return to action Tuesday night with a big July 4 celebration and activities planned at Clint Lightner Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.
Roswell 000 000 000 — 0 8 1
Garden City 300 100 20x — 6 10 1
Winning pitcher—Dalton Bernardi; Losing pitcher—Mike Scimanico. 2B—GC (Peralta). HR—GC (Whitt, Lavalle, Zeutenhorst).
LOB—Roswell 15, Garden City 7.
Contact Brett Marshall at email@example.com