Photo gallery from game three of the Cherry-Silver Series
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The annual Cherry-Silver series reached its midpoint Tuesday as Silver took a two-games-to-one lead. Cherry took the opening game under the new lights at Lobo Field on Sunday before Silver rallied to win the next two games of the best-of-five series.
In Game One, Silver was leading 2-1 with two outs in the bottom of the sixth with Jared Holley on second. Chase Harris lined a single to left to score Holley, and the ball got under the glove of John Pustay and rolled all the way to the wall. This allowed Harris to race all the way around the bases with the eventual winning run.
Colton Thomson went 6 1/3 innings for Cherry to get the win and Preston Ryan recorded the final two outs for the save.
Silver then came back to defeat Cherry 4-1 Monday night. Silver’s starter Mike Gould, a 6’6’’ sophomore transfer from Tacoma Community College, tossed 4 2/3 innings, struck out four, and allowed only two hits. Kevin Baumgartner and Victor Sanchez combined to shut out Cherry over the final 2 1/3 innings to preserve the victory.
Assistant Coach Ken Jacome, who is managing the Silver team during the exhibitions, was high on the great pitching from his team.
“I thought Gould did a great job,” he said. “He gave us four-plus solid innings, and (threw) a lot of strikes down in the zone. His fastball was good, his breaking ball was good, and the other guys came in and threw strikes and gave us a chance to win.”
Silver got the scoring started in the third inning when newcomer Aaron Siple, a junior from Gateway Community College, hit a one-out RBI-triple to deep left center field off Cherry starter Alex Estrella. Two batters later, Pustay singled him home to give Silver a 2-1 advantage. Cherry got one run back in the fourth when Alex Real hit an RBI groundout to score Harris, who had doubled earlier in the inning.
Silver tacked on two more in the bottom of the sixth when freshman Andre Vigil hit a one-out RBI-triple and later scored on a throwing error by pitcher Jake Cole.
Game Three took place on a chilly Tuesday afternoon at Lobo Field as Silver took a one-game lead with a 4-0 victory.
Silver's starter, freshman Carson Schneider from Sandia High School in Albuquerque, threw six shutout innings while allowing only one hit—a bunt single—and two walks.
Pitching Coach Dan Spencer was pleased with what he saw from Schneider.
“He threw a lot of strikes,” he said. “He threw his fastball on both sides of the plate and had enough of his secondary pitches to keep them off the plate. He did a good job.”
Tyler Gibson tossed a perfect seventh inning to seal the victory for Silver.
Ryan Padilla got the scoring started when he laced a solo home-run to right field off Cherry's starter A.J. Carman in the top of the second inning. Padilla also added an RBI groundout in the fifth.
Silver tacked on two more in the fourth when Carman balked in a run then allowed an RBI fielder's choice.
Cherry coach Matt Hibbitts is looking for his team to come out with more energy to avoid losing the series on Wednesday.
“We have to have a better approach at the plate,” he said. “We have to start to get a couple of hits (strung together). We have (Jonathan) Cuellar on the mound tomorrow, so we will have to get after it and go get the W.”
The win put Silver in control of the series, and Jacome likes his team’s chances from here on out.
“Like I told the guys (yesterday), whoever wins (game three) has a big advantage,” Jacome said. “This (series) means something. They have some pride in their teams and they are going to play hard.”
Game Four is set for a 2:30 start at Lobo Field Wednesday afternoon. Cuellar will start for Cherry and Baumgartner is slated to pitch for Silver.