Down 2-0 in the second inning, designated hitter Michael Johnson doubled into left field to bring up third baseman Chase Headley. Headley quickly was down in the count 0-2 after two pitches and then proceeded to work the count to 3-2, seeing eleven pitches. On the twelfth, he sent a rising line drive over the right field wall for a home run.
“I just kept battling and battling until I got a good pitch to hit. After the wild pitch with [Johnson] advancing to third, I was just trying not to strike out, to just bring in that run” said Headley, ‘but when I hit it I knew it was out.”
The Missions sent ten men to the plate in the second inning with Drew Macias delivering the second big blow of the inning with a three run home run to right field, after the Roughriders starting pitcher issued consecutive walks to first baseman Tim Brown and catcher Nick Hundley.
Left fielder Will Venable closed out the scoring with a single to right scoring second baseman Sean Kazmar, who was also walked and then stole second, to cap off a six-run inning.
Unfortunately for the Missions, the day time conditions were also helping the Roughriders as starting pitcher Cesar Ramos saw his ERA balloon to 7.71, giving up five runs on five hits, including two home runs.
“His velocity was ok, but he struggled with his location and command. I tried to go with him as long as I could, especially when he had an opportunity to get the win in the fifth, but at some point you had to stop the bleeding,” said Missions manager Randy Ready.
The Roughriders tacked on another run in the fifth, but then the Missions bullpen, led by Roger Deago, who got his first win of the year, Paul Abraham, and Arturo Lopez, held the Roughriders to one hit and no runs for the next three innings to set up closer Neil Jamison.
“The bullpen was outstanding today. Five zeros is more than you can ask for,” said Ready.
While the Missions’ relief pitchers were busy holding down the fort, left fielder Peter Ciofrone delivered two big blows with a home run to right field in the fifth to mercifully chase the Roughriders starter Andres Galarraga and then delivered a key two out single in the eighth inning to give the Missions a two run cushion.
“I went hitless the night before, but I did make solid contact. I was just consistent with my approach, trying only to swing at quality pitches and hit the ball hard,” said Ciofrone.
Jamison entered the game in the ninth to close it for the Missions with his league leading seventh save of the year.