The Rockies and Rangers met in a Minor Division clash on Saturday at City Pond with the Rockies taking a 9-1 whipping from the Rangers, who improved their record to 10-3 with the strength of their bats and the domination of Jared Jones and Connor Hewell on the mound.
The Rangers set an offensive precedence in the first inning with Jake Jones leading off with a double in the left center field gap to start things rolling. Gray Ritchey followed with a triple to the left field fence plating Jones.
The Rangers remained hot with Tyler Smallwood singling in Jones before Alex Zenko singled to the gap in left center to plate Smallwood.
Gabe Bragg hit a line drive down the left field line to plate another run to end the scoring in the inning and take a 4-0 lead into the second inning.
Jones started for the Rangers holding the Rockies scoreless for 3 innings collecting five strikeouts and four walks while giving up two hits and no runs before giving way to Hewell in the top of the fourth.
Hewell walked to the mound and sent the first two batters he faced back to the woodpile before giving up a single to Richie Norsworthy. Austin Hedgwood accounted for the third out with fly ball to center.
Hewell collected 8 strikeouts and no walks in three innings of work while giving up just two hits and one run.
"My fastball worked pretty good for me today," Hewell said. "My control was there, so I was pretty pleased with my performance on the mound."
The Rockies got their lone run in the sixth when Phillip Rowe singled to left before Josh Cammon hit a 4-3 sacrifice to score the run.
"Before the game started, I told them to run out on the field and play hard," said Coach Jones. "They did just that despite the circumstances and I'm really proud of each and everyone of them."
Cammon had a pretty good outing in a losing effort collecting eight strikeouts and three walks; however the effort was not good enough to stop the Rangers from scoring nine runs.
When the gates opened at City Pond on Saturday the Indians and Marlins were tied for second place in the minor division with identical records of six wins and six losses.
The anticipation was high and the teams were eager to get underway to bring all assumptions and predictions to an end.
The game was tight for the first 4-and-a-half innings with Marlins' pitcher Brandon Williams and Indians' hurler Nic Paulos neck-and-neck until the bottom of the fifth when the Indians went on an eight-hit assault scoring eight runs to pretty much put the game on ice.
The Indians scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning when Justin Minor doubled to right field and Michael Terry hit a single up the middle plating the runner.
The game turned into a pitching duel until the fatal fifth.
Chandler Sweat started the fifth-inning barrage singling to left. Sajchez Clark then drove a hard hit single to left to get on safely before Jake Beazley doubled plating Sweat and Clark.
The onslaught was no where close to being over when Dylan Byrd got on because of an error by the first baseman with Beazley coming across to score.
Williams hit Kyle Terry with a pitch sending him to first before Justin Minor hit a single to deep center plating another run.
Stevie Howard followed with a double in the left center field gap to score Minor.
Finally, the last two scores of the inning came when Paulos singled to left plating a run and Terry singled to left scoring Paulos.
The Marlins did not quit, coming back to score two runs in the sixth when Dakota Young singled to left then stole second and third.
Williams walked and stole second before Chandler Burrell sacrificed to left for the RBI.
Scott Reich also sacrificed to left scoring the final run of the game and the Indians won 9-2 to take sole possession of second place in the minor division.
Paulos ended up with 12 strikeouts and five walks while giving up only three hits in six innings.