The Game: The Phoenix Desert Dogs fell to the Surprise Rafters 6-5 in extra innings on Tuesday at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. The Rafters took an early lead in the first inning as Nick Evans delivers an RBI double to score Daniel Descalso and give them a 1-0 lead.
Surprise added another run in the second inning. Daryl Jones led off the inning with a single to right and then advanced to second on a ground out by Jeff Bianchi. Marcus Lemon then hit an RBI single to left, scoring Jones and giving the Rafters a 2-0 lead.
The Desert Dogs cut the lead in half in the bottom of the second inning. Brad Emaus and Adam Loewen led off the inning with back to back singles. Shawn O’Malley followed with a sac bunt to move both runners into scoring position. AJ Jimenez then drove home Emaus with a sac fly to pull Phoenix within a run of the lead 2-1.
Phoenix tied the game in the third inning. Danny Espinosa collected a ground rule double to get things started. Josh Bell then singled to left to score Espinosa to tie the game 2-2.
The game did not stay tied long as Phoenix took the lead in the fourth inning. Shawn O’Malley drew a walk to lead off the inning. AJ Jimenez followed with an RBI triple to left, scoring O’Malley. Jimenez later scored on a sac fly by Darin Mastroianni as the Desert Dogs took the lead 4-2.
Surprise tied things back up in the top of the fifth inning. Doug Hogan led off the inning with a solo home run. Marcus Lemon followed with a single to third and then advanced to second on a throwing error. Lemon advanced to third on a sac bunt by Jarrod Dyson. Lemon later scored on a wild pitch by Heath Rollins to tie the game at 4.
Surprise regained the lead in the seventh inning. Jarrod Dyson tripled to left to lead off the inning. Daniel Descalso then drove him home with a sac fly, giving the Rafters the lead 5-4.
The Desert Dogs matched runs in the bottom of the seventh, adding a run of their own to tie the game once again. Grant Desme drew a walk to get things going. Desme stole second and then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Shawn O’Malley then delivered an RBI single to score Desme and tie the game 5-5.
The game stayed tied at the end of regulation and forced extra innings. The 5-5 score held until the top of the eleventh inning. Jeff Bianchi led off the inning for Surprise with a single to center and then advanced to second on a fielding error by Darin Mastroianni. Bianchi later scored on an RBI double by Marcus Lemon, giving the Rafters a 6-5 lead. The Desert Dogs could not deliver a run in the bottom of the eleventh as the Rafters held on to win.
Josh Perrault suffered the loss for Phoenix, falling to 0-1 on the season.
Phoenix Desert Dogs Player of the Game: Shawn O’Malley; 1 for 2 with an RBI, run scored and drew 2 walks.
Rays Organization Stats:
Shawn O’Malley; 1 for 2 with an RBI, run scored and 2 walks.
Heath Rollins; 2 runs on 3 hits with a strikeout in 1 inning pitched, charged with blown save.
Mitch Talbot; 2 runs on 5 hits with 3 strikeouts in 4 innings pitched.
A Look Ahead: The Phoenix Desert Dogs face the Peoria Saguaros on Wednesday at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.