Don’t look now but the Garden City Wind (11-15) have won two in a row, seven out of their last eight and are now just now four games out of first place in the Pecos League Mountain Division after manhandling the White Sands Pupfish 15-6 Wednesday night at Clint Lightner Stadium.
A 90-minute rain delay couldn’t keep the Wind from blasting past the Pupfish and grabbing their sixth win of the series against White Sands, ending a seven-game homestand at 6-1.
It didn’t take long for Garden City to flex its muscle against White Sands as the Wind started off the game with three runs in the bottom of the first.
The inning started after a Joey Cecere base hit and a subsequent stolen base, which was his 12th of the season got him to second base. First baseman Taylor Zeutenhorst was then walked and when the Pupfish catcher dropped the fourth ball, Cecere decided to steal home, opening the scoring for the Wind. A sacrifice fly by shortstop J.C. Peralta brought in the second run and Zeutenhorst stole every base on his way to scoring the third run of the first inning, giving Garden City a 3-0 lead.
Garden City blew the game wide open after right fielder Eli Roundtree belted a grand slam home run in the bottom of the third inning. Roundtree took the first pitch of his third-inning at-bat and blasted it over the right field fence to give the Wind a 7-0 lead.
Roundtree was in that position after a Ryan Whitt walk, a Zutenhorst hit and a Perelta walk loaded up the bases.
The grand slam also signified the end of Pupfish starting pitcher, Darrel Render Jr., as he was pulled between innings
The Wind added two more runs in the fourth after third baseman Ray Hernandez drilled a double to left field, bringing in two more runs, which gave Garden a 9-0 lead.
The Wind could have added two more to their lead, but left two stranded after the Hernandez 2 RBI double.
It wasn’t until the sixth inning where the Pupfish scored three runs and cut into the Wind lead, 9-3. The sixth inning also saw the end of the night for Wind starting pitcher Mason Mayberry.
Mayberry finished the night with seven strikeouts in six innings of work and had thrown 106 pitches.
Wind head coach David Peterson knew that Maybery was the reason for the Wind’s success on Wednesday night.
“It all started with how Mason threw the baseball tonight,” Peterson said. “Mason did a great job. He filled up the zone, he competed and he got a lot of ground ball outs. He kept us in the dugout longer than on the field, and that time of possession is very important.”
Mayberry attributes his succes tonight to the communication and work that he and Wind pitcher Taylor Ellis have been having on the field.
“I was just trying to fill up the strike zone,” Mayberry said. “Taylor and I have been working well together, getting a pitch sequence down and I was trying to throw hard away, end with a fastball and a slider away. It was working pretty well.”
When asked if the hour and half rain delay affected his preperation tonight, Mayberry didnt think so. “
I don’t have that much of a mental approach until i get into the bullpen, and it doesn’t take me that long to get warmed up,” he said.
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White Sands 000 003 003 — 6 13 4
Garden City 304 200 06x — 15 14 3
Winning pitcher—GC (Mason Mayberry); Losing pitcher—WS (Darrell Render Jr.). 2B—WS (Davis), GC (Whitt, Hernandez). HR—GC (Roundtree). LOB—White Sands 10, Garden City 12.
The Wind almost added to their lead in the seventh inning after loading up the bases again, but a threatening Peralta deep fly ball right into the glove of Pupfish’s left fielder.
Just in case White Sands was thinking about a comeback in the ninth inning, Garden City added six more runs in the bottom of the eighth. A Cecere two-run base hit made the score 11-3 and Morgan Blatnik’s single brought in the third run of the inning making it 12-3. Not to be outdone, outfielder Ryan Whitt hit a two run double which made the score 14-3 and Peralta closed out the inning with an infield single that brought in the last run of the inning and the game for the Wind. They took a 15-3 lead into the last inning.
The Pupfish did do a bit of damage in the ninth inning after position player turned closer, Cameron Ketchen allowed three runs in the top of the inning, but ultimately got the job done and closed out the game for the Wind.
Peterson is taking advantage of this winning streak and he knows it can help the team moving forward.
“We have this attitude right now, that we don’t know how to lose and we need to continue to have that attitude especially when we are going to play a tough opponent like Roswell,” Peterson said.
In preparing for the Roswell Invaders, who took three out of four from the Wind last week, Peterson knowns that they have to do the small things to stay in the game.
“They can swing it and we just have to keep the ball down and we cant mistakes on the field,” Peterson said. “We can’t give them any free bases or any extra outs.”
In the month of June, the Wind is now .500 as they improved their record to 10-10. This has to do with the fact that they finally got a true home stand, and took advantage of it. They are now 9-3 at home which if you compare it to their 3-11 away record, really show that the Wind take care of business at home. They are now hoping that some of that momentum is carried with them on the road.
Garden City will turn around and play the Roswell Invaders in a four game series that starts on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Roswell, New Mexico.
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