Griffons ambush Renegades 5-3 in extra, push win streak to four
The Nevada Griffons have left their season-opening 10-game losing streak in the dust.
Thursday night’s 5-3 extra inning MINK League road victory over the Jefferson City Renegades moved Nevada to 4-10 overall and 4-8 in MINK League-play. Meanwhile, after a red-hot start to the season, South division foe Jefferson City falls to 7-6 in league-play.
The Renegades failed to capitalize on a golden opportunity in the bottom of the first, as they were only able to push one run across after loading the bases with no outs.
Griffons starter Jonah Smith minimized the damage after inducing a double-play ground out.
Jefferson City tacked on a run in the third, courtesy of Hunter Swift double. Nolan Sasche, who advanced to third on the extra base hit, came around to score on an error charged to center fielder Marco Young, as the Renegades led 2-0.
Nevada scratched across a run in the fourth, after Kainalu Pitoy led off the inning with a walk, later coming around to score on a throwing error by Renegades center fielder Mike Million.
The Griffons, who were held hitless by starter Logan Wilder through the first three innings, finally recorded their first hit in the fifth, as Darren Willis doubled down the right field line off relief pitcher Jack Kane. Wills was then stranded in scoring position as Pitoy popped out to third to end the inning.
In the home half of the fifth, Swift, who singled in the first and doubled in the third, came up with a two-out triple in the fifth. Million followed with an RBI-triple, just out of the reach of a diving Young in center field, handing the Renegades a 3-1 advantage.
With one out in the eighth, a Pitoy fly ball to shallow right-center field fell between three Renegades, allowing Young to score from third, trimming Jefferson City’s lead to a run.
Swift, who came on in relief with two outs and the bases loaded, issued a free pass to Noah Menchaca, scoring Pitoy from third as the Griffons tied the contest 3-3. Swift escaped the bases loaded jam after the final out was recorded on a Cole Solomon fly out to left.
Neither team threatened in the ninth, as the Griffons entered their first extra inning contest of the season.
Blaine DeMello reached on a one-out single in the 10th off Avery Jennings. After swiping second base, the Renegades elected to walk Ben Bayless, as they looked to keep the double-play in order. That strategy, however, backfired as Jennings proceeded to walk Ben Sneider to load the bases.
Things further unraveled when Renegades shortstop and former Griffon Tanner Wetrich was unable to make a play on Menchaca’s slow roller, allowing DeMello to score from third as the Griffons claimed a 4-3 lead. Nevada added some insurance via Solomon’s RBI sacrifice fly, as Nevada padded its lead.
Pitt State product Kory Haught, who came on in the ninth, was dynamite, tossing two scoreless innings, while striking out a pair. Haught (3-0) was credited with the victory.
Thomas Swafford combined with Haught for four clean innings of relief work, as Swafford struck out three during the seventh and eighth innings.