The 40 Plus Hurricanes stormed back with a late rally to stop the surging and arguably the hottest team in the league, the Cobras, 10-9, in game one of Raphael Jackson AA Baseball League action on Saturday at the D.C. Canegata Ball Park.
The Hurricanes got three strong innings of relief pitching from David Samuel, before turning to veteran lefthander Geronimo “Roach” Newton, who sealed the deal.
Batting first, the Cobras got four runs against the Hurricanes’ starting pitcher, Lorenzo “Ras” Acosta, who was somewhat erratic in the early goings. All four run were unearned. The Hurricanes answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning when José Morales connected on an 0-2 fastball and deposited it over the left field fence for a three-run blast off the Cobras hard throwing lefty, Joshua Torres, to get to within one run at 4-3.
After the Cobras failed to score in the top of the second, the Hurricanes tied the game at four on Cruz Soto’s RBI single.
The Cobras retook the lead, at 6-4, in the top of the third with two unearned runs on Hurricanes miscues. The Canes had no answer in their half of the inning.
The lead would be extended to 9-4 in the top of the fourth when the Cobras plated three more runs on an inside the park homer by Angel Torres, Jr. and an RBI single by Antonio Horn.
The Hurricanes began their comeback in the bottom of the inning. They picked up two unearned runs in the inning on Cobras errors to close to within three at 9-6.
The Hurricanes then went to their bullpen, and the Cobras threatened but would not score again. First out of the pen was the fireballing reliever Samuel, who pitched 2-1/3 scoreless innings before turning things over to Newton.
Meanwhile, the Hurricanes offense was back on the attack in the bottom of the sixth inning after a scoreless fifth. They rallied for three runs in the inning to knot the game at nine, with Guido Schjang’s RBI, two-out blooper being the game-tying hit.
The Cobras threatened with runners on the corners with just one out, but Newton , who had just entered the game, proved to be the right man at the right time.The first batter he faced attempted a bunt but was out when the bunted ball bounced and hit him as he broke for first.
The last out was almost comical, as the league leader in picking off would-be base stealers nailed the runner on first base to end the Cobras threat – after, he said, threatening to do just that.
“I told Carlos after I threw the first pitch to first that he dead – I’m going to pick him off,” Newton said later.
He first baited the runner with a relatively easy toss over to first, before coming back with his deadly, patented pickoff move which caught the runner leaning the wrong way.
The scene was now set for the Hurricanes to complete their comeback. The bases were loaded with one out when Soto hit what looked to be an inning-ending, double-play ground ball to second, but the runner reached safely when the shortstop’s relay throw to first pulled the first baseman off the bag, allowing the winning run to score from third.
Newton picked up the win in relief while Angel Torres, who relieved his brother Josh, got the loss. Top Batters for the Canes were Soto (2 for 5 with two RBIs), Morales (1 for 4 with a home run and three RBIs), and Guido Schjang (1 for 4 with one RBI). For the Cobras, Torres, Jr., was 2 for 4 with two RBIs, and Horn was 1 for 4 with two RBIs.