Laredo's Come-From-Behind 8th Sends El Paso Packing
For the second consecutive night, the Diablos could not hold a two-run lead in the late innings, this time surrendering three runs to the hometown Laredo Lemurs in the bottom of the eighth to lose 8-7.
El Paso had fought back from a 5-0 deficit to lead 7-5, going ahead on Kory Drew's solo home run in the seventh off Lemurs starter Todd Privett and an RBI triple by Brian Joynt in the eighth. Drew's home run was the first of the season for the center fielder and just the third all year for the Diablos.
But Laredo, as they did in Friday night's game, erased El Paso's lead with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the eighth. Ernie Banks Jr. led off the inning with a solo home run off Diablos starter Scoptt Hodsdon, who was then promptly removed for Geivy Garcia. Garcia (1-3) hit the first two men he faced with pitches inside before surrendering a two-run, go ahead double to Jeff Vincent to give the Lemurs an 8-7 lead.
Lemurs reliever Jon Hunton (1-0) retired the side in order in the ninth to earn his first victory of 2012 for Laredo.
The Diablos fell behind early thanks to three defensive miscues on one play in the very first inning. With the bases loaded, Stephen Pearson hit a ground ball back to Hodsdon, who threw high to first base. First baseman Javier Brito then retreieved the ball and threw high to second to try and gun down Pearson. The ball sailed into left field, where Brian Joynt scooped it up and tried to throw to third to nab Pearson again. His throw sailed wide of Uriak Marquez and past catcher Patrick Arlis who was backing up the play, and Pearson came around to score to make it 4-0 Laredo.
The Lemurs would add one more run to the lead before El Paso began to battle back. The Diablos scored five runs to tie the game in the fourth, with the final hit of the rally coming from Drew, who singled in Marquez to knot the score.
The two starters, Hodsdon and Privett then traded zeroes until Drew's solo jack in the seventh.
The loss drops the Diablos to 3-12 on the season and moves the Lemurs up to 7-8. The finale of the three-game series is Sunday at 6:30 p.m. (MST). Right-hander Colin Allen is scheduled to make his second start of the 2012 season for El Paso.