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Saturday, June 30, 2012
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – In a see-saw game between the two teams at the top of the American Association’s South Division, the first-place Grand Prairie AirHogs came back from a three-run deficit, blew a one-run lead in the eighth and then scored three in the bottom half to beat the second-place Amarillo Sox 7-4 in front of 2,965 at QuikTrip Park on Friday.
Amarillo (21-19) scored three runs in the third inning off AirHogs starter John Brownell, with a two-run double by Jake Opitz followed by an error and an RBI groundout by Tim Alberts.
But Brownell held the Sox off the board through the rest of his seven innings, allowing six hits and two earned runs, with a pair of walks and give strikeouts.
Sox starter Chuck Lofgren allowed one hit and one walk in the first four frames, before the AirHogs (27-13) began their comeback in the fifth. Chris McMurray reached on an error to start the inning, and after Trent Lockwood singled, Keanon Simon hit a two-run, two-out triple to put Grand Prairie on the board.
An inning later, the AirHogs took the lead. Brian Myrow led off with a double to right-center, before moving to third on a wild pitch. Andres Rodriguez was called out on a 3-2 pitch, leading to AirHogs manager Ricky VanAsselberg’s third ejection of the season. But Greg Porter singled through the drawn-in infield to tie the game, before a single and another error and a Trent Lockwood sacrifice fly gave Grand Prairie the lead for the first time.
Both starters exchanged scoreless seventh innings before turning it over to the respective bullpens. Ronnie Morales came in and allowed a double and a single before being pulled in favor of Derrick Miramontes (3-1), who got Alberts on a 6-4-3 double play, which tied the game, before striking out Alberto Espinosa to end the inning.
In the bottom half, Rodriguez walked to start the inning against Wes Littleton (2-3), before a passed ball and a Porter single put runners at the corners. Up stepped McMurray, who hit another big triple to right to give Grand Prairie the lead for good, one that would get one run bigger on a two-out throwing error by Jason White at short.
Justin Dowdy came on to finish things off, striking out two in a perfect ninth to pick up his ninth save of the season.
Notes: Seven of the nine AirHogs had at least one hit…Amarillo’s Matthew Tucker went 4-for-4 with two runs scored…This was the first meeting of the year between the two teams…This was the first game for the AirHogs this year where both teams had a pitcher who did not record an out.
The 2011 American Association Champion Grand Prairie AirHogs continue their four-game series against the Amarillo Sox on Saturday, June 30 at 7:05 p.m. It is Fireworks Saturday Night, with a postgame fireworks spectacular after the game. All games are aired live and for free on Ustream by clicking on the link on the AirHogs’ home page or visiting http://www.ustream.tv/channel/airhogs-baseball with selected contests aired on Time Warner Cable’s Texas Channel. For information on tickets, promotions, advertising, and other opportunities with the AirHogs, check out the Web site at www.airhogsbaseball.com, or call the QuikTrip Park office at (972) 504-9383.