PENDLETON - The Gilbert Auto Chargers seem to have perfected the art of
the late-inning comeback after rallying for a pair of season-opening
wins against the DeSalles Merchants Sunday at Bob White Field in
After allowing the Merchants to jump out to a 3-1 lead in the opener,
the Chargers rallied behind three scoreless innings on the mound by
Kevin Nooy and scored the winning run on a Lane Richards single in the
bottom of the seventh. Nooy picked up his first win of the summer in
the 4-3 victory.
Then, DeSalles came right back in the second game and built a 7-0 lead
after two innings. The Chargers mounted a late comeback, though,
scoring seven runs in the fifth and sixth innings, then getting a
clutch run in the seventh to extend the game at 11 apiece.
Brandon James pitched four scoreless innings before Lathan Alger came
on to shut DeSalles down in the 10th and Tanner Livesay hit the
game-winning single in the bottom of the inning to win 12-11.
"We just kept plugging away," coach Travis Zander said. "Our pitchers
kept us in it."
Zander coached most of his players during the spring on the Pendleton
freshman team and said he was glad to see the team open with a pair of
strong comeback wins. But he said the second game did expose an area
the team needs to improve in when they left several runners on base in
"We need to get better at staying relaxed in pressure situations," he
said. "That's what summer is all about, focusing on the individual, but
still remembering the team aspect."
In Game 2, Alger was 3 for 5 at the plate with two doubles, a triple
and four runs scored. Reese Merriman was 3-7 with a double.
The Chargers will play their next games Friday when they host Stanfield
for a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m. at Bob White Field.
GILBERT AUTO 4, DESALLES 3
Spencer Cordeiro and Spencer Smith; Tyler Zyph, Kevin Nooy (5) and
Reese Merriman. W - Nooy (1-0); L - Cordiero (0-1).
2B - Matt Wujak (DSM), Reese Merriman (GAC), Davis Alderman (GAC); HR -
Matt Wujak (DSM).
GILBERT AUTO 12, DESALLES
11 (10 INN)
Victor Mata, Matt Wujak (4), Kyle Lindgren (6), Brandon Arallano (9)
and Spencer Cordeiro, Spencer Smith (6); Dylan Wallace, Sean VanPelt
(3), Brandon James (6), Lathan Alger (10) and Johnny Picard. W - Alger
(1-0); L - Arallano (0-1).
2B - Kyle Lindgren (DSM), Matt Wujak (DSM), Kincaid Schmitz (DSM),
Reese Merriman (GAC), Lathan Alger (2) (GAC), Davis Alderman (GAC); 3B
- Alger (GAC).