The Garden City Wind nearly gave away another game late, allowing visiting Trinidad, Colo., to score all five of its runs in the final three innings of Thursday’s tilt at Clint Lightner Stadium.
But the Wind had built a big enough lead, and Eli Roundtree hit a two-run home run in the eighth, to deny the Triggers a comeback and break a 10-game losing skid with a 7-5 win.
Roundtree’s shot came when the Wind (18-36) were already leading 5-3 in the eighth, but when the Triggers (30-22) scored two runs off reliever Jack Finnegan in the ninth, the home run turned into the game-winner — a much-needed respite from heartbreaking losses. The Wind had given up go-ahead runs in the eighth inning or later in each of the previous four games, blowing leads in three of those.
But on Thursday, the Wind got another solid start, with Dalton Bernardi going 7 2/3 innings, allowing just three runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out four. All three runs off Bernardi came in the seventh and eighth innings.
He still picked up the win, improving to 2-5 with an 8.19 ERA. His effort was supported early by the Wind lineup, which racked up 10 hits and scored three runs combined in the first three innings. They added two more in the sixth for a 5-0 lead, before the Triggers whittled that down to 5-3 off Bernardi, capped by Kenneth Fudge’s solo home run in the eighth.
But to lead off the bottom half of the inning, Taylor Ellis walked and Roundtree blasted a 1-1 pitch for some insurance runs. Despite a walk, a pair of singles and a double — all with two outs — in the ninth, the Triggers couldn’t eclipse the Wind.
The Wind have been eliminated from postseason contention, but the Triggers are still in the race, just five games behind first in the Mountain Division with 10 games to play. The two teams meet again at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Clint Lightner.