The Game: A walk off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning by Nevin Ashley was all the Desert Dogs needed to defeat the Mesa Solar Sox 9-5 on Monday at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
The Desert Dogs took the lead in the first inning, striking for three runs. Danny Espinosa drew a walk and Brandon Snyder followed with a single to put two men on base. Then Grant Desme continued his hot steak at the plate with a three run homer to put Phoenix ahead 3-0.
Mesa fought back in the second inning to pull within a run of the lead. Hank Conger doubled to right to lead off the inning. Steve Singleton followed with an RBI single to score Conger. Singleton later scored on an RBI single by PJ Phillips and the Solar Sox trailed by one, 3-2.
The Solar Sox tied the game in the fourth inning. Steve Singleton got things started with a single to center. PJ Phillips drove home his second run of the game with a single to center that scored Singleton and tied the game 3-3.
But the game did not stayed tied long as the Desert Dogs drove home two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Back to back RBI triples by Corey Brown and Jemile Weeks pushed across two more runs and the Desert Dogs regained the lead 5-3.
Mesa battled back to collect a run in the fifth and another in the ninth to tie the game once again. Hank Conger drove home Starlin Castro in the fifth. Then in the ninth, Bryan Peterson doubled to right to lead off the inning. Chris Parmelee later followed with an RBI single to score Peterson and tie the game 5-5.
But patience at the plate paid off for the Desert Dogs in the bottom of the ninth. Josh Bell singled to left to get things going. Then two consecutive walks to Cory Brown and Jemile Weeks loaded the bases. They would not stay loaded long as Nevin Ashley delivered a walk-off grand slam, winning the game for Phoenix 9-5.
Drew Storen was the winning pitcher for Phoenix, improving to 1-0 on the fall. Dustin Richardson was the losing pitcher for Mesa.
Phoenix Desert Dogs Player of the Game: Nevin Ashley; game winning grand slam.
Rays Organization Stats:
Nevin Ashley; 1-3 at the plate with only hit was a grand slam, struck out once
A Look Ahead: The Phoenix Desert Dogs will face the Surprise Rafters on Tuesday at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Steven Strasburg (1-1, 10.50) will get the start for Phoenix facing Danny Gutierrez (2-0, 0.00) for Surprise.