The Roswell Invaders rallied back from a 7-1 deficit to stun the Garden City Wind, 12-8, in Monday’s Pecos League playoffs opener at Clint Lightner Field.
The Wind had jumped out to the six-run lead with a seven-run second inning, sparked by a three-run Alvin Swoope home run. But Roswell cut that to 7-5, then 8-6, then 8-8 going into the ninth inning. Finally, the Invaders finished off the comeback with four more runs off the Wind bullpen in the ninth, including the game-winning two-run single by Matt Paciello.
The loss puts the Wind one more loss away from elimination in the best-of-three series, which is set to continue at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Clint Lightner.
Rich Edwards got the start for the Wind Monday, going 4 ⅓ innings before Johnathan Fleckenstein relieved him in the fifth. Fleckenstein went 1 ⅔ innings and only gave up one run, but Pierce Smith allowed a double and a walk in the seventh before being pulled for Kyle Porter.
Porter got a strikeout, before walking the bases loaded and then allowing a two-run single to Kirby Lambert as the Invaders tied the game at eight.
The Wind nearly re-took the lead in the bottom half of the inning when Jordan Pintious singled to right field with Shane Brown on second, but Brown was thrown out at the plate, denying the Wind the go-ahead run.
Luis Gusler tossed a scoreless eighth for the Wind, but then allowed a double, a runner to reach on a dropped third strike, an intentional walk and then finally a two-run single as the Invaders took the late lead.
He was replaced by Austin Willis-Greene, who got a strikeout and intentionally walked a batter, before allowing two insurance runs on a two-run single by Aaron Stubblefield.
Carson Lee led off the ninth with a walk, but Brown grounded out, Nick Snyder struck out and Pontious popped out to end the game.
Gusler took the loss, while John Saviano got the win for Roswell, tossing a scoreless eighth inning. Both teams used six relievers, but Roswell’s bullpen went 7 ⅓ innings and gave up just two runs on six hits, while Garden City’s relievers went just 4 ⅔ innings and gave up seven runs on nine hits.
W—Saviano. L—Gusler. 2B—Roswell: Donerson, Hoff. HR—Roswell: Maltby, Lambert, Lawson. Garden City: Swoope.