By Tri-City Dust Devils
The Tri-City Dust Devils mustered five unanswered runs, but could not complete the comeback in the bottom of the 9th, losing 7-6 to the Boise Hawks at Gesa Stadium on Thursday night. With the loss the Dust Devils (27-35) are now seven games behind the first place Hawks (29-33), who secured the series victory with the win.
After scoring the first run of the game in the second inning, the Dust Devils gave up seven straight runs to the Hawks. Tri-City starter Ben Hughes (3-5) was hit hard by Boise. The Hawks had ten hits and scored all seven of their runs off of Hughes, who went five innings and suffered the loss. The biggest blow came in the fourth inning when Stephen Bruno hit a three-run homer for Boise, his third of the season. Relievers Ryan Arrowood and Trent Blank combined to keep the Hawks scoreless for the final four innings of the game.
The Dust Devils were able to battle back after trailing 7-1. Tri-City strung together four hits in the fifth inning to bring home three runs. The rally continued in the seventh when Rosell Herrera drove in two more runs with a double that pulled Tri-City to within one run. Herrera was on third base in the inning with only one out, but was left stranded.
The tying run was on second and the winning run was on first in the bottom of the ninth, but Tom Murphy flew out to center field and Francisco Sosa struck out to end the game. The win tips the season series in favor of the Hawks, who are 6-5 against Tri-City this year. Michael Heesch (1-1) picked up the victory for Boise, who tossed two scoreless innings in relief.
The Dust Devils will look to avoid the sweep to the Hawks as the three-game series comes to a close on Saturday night. Right-hander Peter Tago will make his thirteenth start of the season for Tri-City. He will be countered by Jose Arias for the Hawks. First pitch is at 7:15 p.m. and gates open at 6:15 p.m. There will be a postgame fireworks show presented by the Army National Guard.