By Greg Perkins
Winslow’s Kuster Kinlicheenie pitched a no hitter against the Roadrunners on Tuesday afternoon in Holbrook, helping the Bulldogs blank the Birds 10-0 in five innings of play. The sophomore right hander faced the minimum of 15 batters, allowing no hits with three strikeouts and walked just one.
Buddy Wagoner started on the hill for the Birds, facing 25 batters through four innings of work. He allowed eight runs, only 5 earned, on 10 hits with five strikeouts and walked three. Trevor Barton pitched the final inning, facing six Bulldog batters. Barton gave up two earned runs with two hits, one walk and one strikeout.
Winslow took control of the game with four runs in the first, then added three more in the second. With Kinlicheenie’s performance on the hill and a solid defense behind him, it was more than enough to secure the win.
Holbrook had just one base runner, as Wagoner drew a walk.
Winslow scored 10 runs on 12 hits and made no errors.
Holbrook also dropped two games last week, suffering another 10-0 shut out at the hands of Show Low on Friday and an 18-13 loss to Blue Ridge on Wednesday.
The Show Low game was another struggle for Holbrook batters. The Birds finished the game with only two hits. Ben Nafziger and Scottie Gishie each went 1 for 2.
Show Low scored four in the first, added three in the second, tacked on two in the third and closed the game out with a 10th run in the fourth frame.
Lanny Newton-Pender pitched 22/3 innings, facing 21 batters. He gave up nine runs, all earned, with 11 hits and a walk. Carlos Quintana pitched 11/3 innings, facing seven batters. He allowed one earned run on four hits.
The Birds were able to put the bat on the ball in their home field loss to Blue Ridge. The Yellowjackets opened the slugfest with five runs in the first, added three in the second and third, then put up five more in the fourth. Holbrook started slowly with single runs in the first two innings, then scored twice in the third and fourth, but trailed 16-6 going into the top of the fifth. Blue Ridge made it 18 with two runs in the fifth, but Holbrook prolonged the game with three runs in the bottom of the inning. The Birds then scored four times in the sixth to make the final score 18-13.
Holbrook finished with 15 hits, made two errors and left 12 runners stranded.
Quintana went 2 for 2; Barton, 1 for 3; Wagoner, 1 for 2; Nikko Ferniza, 2 for 4; Nick Robinson, 1 for 4; Newton-Pender, 2 for 3; Julian Garcia, 1 for 4; Adryan Fulton, 1 for 2; Nafziger, 2 for 4; and Gishie, 2 for 2.
Holbrook used four pitchers in the game, with Wagoner, Ferniza, Barton and Robinson combining to give up 18 earned runs on 14 hits with 3 strikeouts and eight walks.
With just five games remaining on the docket and the Birds ranked low in the standings, they may need to win all five to have a chance to reach the post-season. After hosting Mogollon on Thursday, they will play at Globe today (April 18). They will play at Snowflake on Thursday, April 24, for their only game that week before finishing the season on the final two days of April.
By Greg Perkins