Chihuahuas overcome controversial calls to beat Rainiers

Right+fielder+Jeff+Francoeur+argues+a+call+with+the+umpire+in+the+third+inning.+

Michaela Roman

Right fielder Jeff Francoeur argues a call with the umpire in the third inning.

21-34-6. Those were the number of runs, hits and errors recorded by both the Chihuahuas and Tacoma Rainiers in a wild but exciting series opener. 9,226 were in attendance to see the Chihuahuas open their last series before they head off to Reno, Nevada.

The Chihuahuas started slow allowing six of Tacoma’s ten runs in the first four innings to put themselves in a 6-0 hole. As always though the Chihuahuas fought back and showed their resolve by responding with two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to cut the lead down to four.

Over the next two innings the Rainiers extended their lead to six, but once again the Chihuahuas responded. Thanks to a five run sixth inning and a three run home run by third baseman Brooks Conrad the Chihuahuas were right back in the game.

“It was one of those games where it was back and forth,” said Conrad. “We had a couple of bad calls, but we didn’t let it bother us. Guys kept getting on base and driving runs in, it was a big team win tonight.”

The bad calls Conrad was referring to came in the third and fifth inning. Right fielder Jeff Francouer in the third inning and left fielder Jake Goebbert in the fifth inning both struck out looking on full counts that would have loaded the bases for the Chihuahuas.

Nevertheless the Chihuahuas eventually made up for the missed opportunities. Finally in the eighth inning second baseman Jace Petereson’s RBI single gave the Chihuahuas their first lead of the game.

The three run eighth inning closed the books on the Rainiers and sealed game one of the four game series for the Chihuahuas. Although it was another incredible comeback for the Chihuahuas, manager Pat Murphy has seen it many times this year.

“The comeback tonight was incredible,” said Murphy. “We’ve done it four or five times this year, but it is something this team has had a knack for doing. It’s a testament to this baseball team to comeback from 8-2, and we have done it so many times.”

Despite surrendering 10 runs in the game, the Chihuahuas hitting was phenomenal. All nine Chihuahuas had a hit in the game and six of the nine had at least two hits. In total the team tallied 20 hits, which is a season high breaking the mark they set against Sacramento on May 5th with 19.

Brooks Conrad was a triple away from hitting for the cycle and Jace Peterson increased his batting average to .354 with four hits on the night. If one thing can be certain is that the next three games have the possibility to be just as exciting. It was only six days ago when the Chihuahuas beat the Rainiers 14-12 in Tacoma.

Javier Cortez may be reached at [email protected]