After an extra innings loss on Friday, the Volcanoes came out on top of their three-game series with the Mavericks with wins on Saturday and Sunday.
The two wins bring the Volcanoes to .500 at 18-18, one game behind the Mavericks (20-18) for first place.
Friday, Aug. 5
It was a late night to start the week for the Mavericks and Volcanoes — a five-hour, 11-inning night.
And at the end of it, thanks to a Chase Bessard home run in the top of the 11th, the Mavericks increased their narrow hold on first place with a 10-9 win.
It was Bessard’s second home run of the season, and his third RBI of the night. Bessard was 3-for-6 and two runs scored on the night.
It was a solo shot in the second inning for the Volcanoes that opened the scoring, Carlos Cuevas’ first of the season. The Volcanoes went up 3-0 in the inning on two bases loaded walks.
The Mavericks came back, and even took their own three-run lead, going up 9-6 on a two-run triple from Wilfredo Tovar in the eighth.
But the Volcanoes responded, tying things up in the bottom half of the inning. The third run of the bottom of the eighth came on a wild pitch that allowed Shoma Yoshida to score from third base and tie the game.
Sammy Mercedes threw three no-hit innings out of the bullpen to finish off the Volcanoes, striking out seven of 11 batters faced.
Saturday, Aug. 6
There was just a 14-hour turnaround from the finish of Friday night’s game, but Saturday’s game was the near opposite of the 11-inning game that took more than five hours the night before.
In a game that took nearly half the time as Friday’s, the Volcanoes rebounded and cruised to an 8-2 win.
Matt McDonald notched the ever-rarer complete game for the Volcanoes, striking out seven along the way.
Hours after hitting his first home run of the season, Cuevas went deep again for the Volcanoes. Again it was in the second inning, but this time a three-run blast that put the Volcanoes up 7-0. Cuevas added an RBI single in the fourth inning to extend the lead further, going 4-for-5 on the day.
Sunday, Aug. 7
Jared Bell survived a rocky start to go the full nine innings in a win for the Volcanoes, a day after his teammate Matt McDonald also saved the bullpen from work.
Bell gave up three runs in the first two innings, but settled down and kept the Mavericks off the board the rest of the game, as his offense helped him out with an 11-3 win.
It took a little time for the Volcanoes bats to wake up. They were scoreless heading into the fifth inning, but took a 4-3 lead in the inning.
They looked for a little insurance in the bottom of the eighth and came up big. The Volcanoes scored seven runs in the inning, highlighted by a Quintin Alexander grand slam, his first home run of the season.