Griffons drop Outlaws for third straight victory

Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Ralph Pokorny/Daily Mail/ Griffons pitcher Juan Aguilera out of Sierra Vista, Ariz., sets for his delivery May 28 against the Midwest Nationals. Aguilera has been excellent of late, notching back-to-back saves.

Nevada Daily Mail

In Monday night MINK League action the Nevada Griffons held on for a 4-3 road win over the Joplin Outlaws.

The victory is the third straight for the Griffons, with each coming by a single run. Nevada is now 6-5 overall (5-5 MINK League).

With the game scoreless in the bottom of the third inning, Joplin's Zach Beasley singled to left field off Griffons starting pitcher Josh Green.

Following in the order Colton Krokroskia singled putting runners on first and second base. Nevada picked up its first out of the inning after Brandon Pugh grounded into a fielders choice, advancing both runners up a base.

Things got dicey when Green walked Joshua Abegg to load the bases. Green's control issues persisted, as he issued a four-pitch walk to Josh Vanderpool, bringing home Beasley from third base to put the Outlaws in front 1-0.

Facing Lance Portwood, Green escaped further damage when he induced an inning-ending double play.

Despite loading the bases in the top of the fourth inning, the Griffons were unable to score as catcher Chris Kobar flew out to shallow center field to end the inning.

Green was shaky to open the bottom of the fourth, walking the first two batters he faced, but managed to emerge from the inning unscathed.

For the Griffons, Anthony Davison led off the top of the fifth with a walk, followed by a Jamie Graeser sacrifice bunt moving Davison up 90 feet and into scoring position. Davison again moved up on the base paths courtesy of a Kurt Becker ground out to the right side.

With two outs, Cole Johnson out of Washington State University, hammered an Arron Patton pitch into deep right-center field, plating Davison from third to knot the score at 1-1. Johnson coasted into third base for the triple.

Johnson's base hit knocked Patton out of the game. Patton was replaced by Keith Pitch who was able to strand Johnson on third as the inning came to a close.

With the game still tied in the top of the sixth inning, Nevada's Dusty Wright and Taylor Walker connected for back-to-back singles to lead things off. Pitch then encountered major trouble after walking Tyler Bodenstab to load the bases with no outs.

Kobar took advantage of his golden opportunity, dropping a single into shallow right field, scoring Wright and Walker. In addition Kobar advanced to second on the play via an error. Kobar's hit handed the Griffons a 3-1 advantage.

Later in the inning, Nevada had a chance to break the game open. However, with the bases loaded, Pitch's payoff pitch to Johnson resulted in a fly out to center field, ending the threat.

Green was replaced in the bottom of the seventh by southpaw Colten Poellinger. Green had an excellent outing, allowing only two hits over six innings of work, while striking out two. Green's only blemish was in the walk column, as he put five on base with the free pass.

Poellinger struggled upon entering the game, quickly allowing a single and walk. A wild pitch later in the inning brought Beasley home from third base, slicing the Griffons lead to 3-2.

Kobar led off the top of the eighth with a walk, followed by a Davison single to left field. Kobar would later come around to score on a wild pitch, giving the Griffons an insurance run as they led 4-2.

The Outlaws however, trimmed the Griffons two-run cushion in half in the bottom of the eighth.

Relief pitcher Seth Owen opened up the inning by walking three consecutive batters. Owens threw 12 pitches, all for balls.

Enter Juan Aguilera. Aguilera was electric in his previous outing June 11 against the Branson Nationals, locking down a flawless two inning save.

Aguilera surrendered a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Mason Brown to trim the lead to 4-3. Aguilera was able to get out of the inning with the lead intact.

The Griffons were unable to cushion their lead, going down in order in the top of the ninth.

Aguilera made things interesting in the bottom of the ninth, allowing a one out walk to Abegg.

Aguilera then brought the heater, striking out Vanderpool for the second out of the inning.

A second walk put Portwood on first and moved Abegg into scoring position. Aguilera then ended the game with a strike out of Brown, who went down looking at a fastball.

For Nevada Green moved to 1-0 on the season, while Aguilera picked up his second save, lowering his ERA to 3.18.

Kobar led the way for the Griffons offensively, going 1-for-3 with two RBIs. Davison was 2-for-3 with a run scored; Johnson 1-for-5 with an RBI; Bryant 2-for-5; Walker 1-for-4 with a run; and Wright 1-for-4 with a run.

Graeser was 2-for-3, upping his batting average to .364. Johnson is hitting .400 and Bryant .353.

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