The Tacoma Rainiers and Round Rock Express split a doubleheader on Saturday night at Cheney Stadium – the Express took the first game 5-0, while the Rainiers earned the win in the second game 8-1. Both game were only played to seven innings instead of the usual nine.
The Rainiers (22-12) dropped the first game 5-0, as Seth Mejias-Brean (1-for-3), Boog Powell (1-for-3) and Tyler Smith (1-for-3) managed Tacoma’s only hits of the opener.
Rainiers starter game one starter Rob Whalen (0-1) allowed five runs on five hits and notched five strikeouts over six innings.
Tacoma rallied back to win the second game 8-1, led by outstanding performances from Boog Powell (3-for-3, 4 runs, double and a walk), Daniel Vogelbach (2-for-4, 2 runs, home runs and 4 RBIs) and Dario Pizzano (1-for-3, run, home run, 2 RBIs).
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The Rainiers struck first in the nightcap when Vogelbach laced a single down the right field line to score Powell in the bottom half of the first inning, giving Tacoma an early 1-0 lead.
Left fielder Dario Pizzano led off the bottom of the third frame with an inside-the-park home run, the first at Cheney Stadium since Wladimir Balentien accomplished the feat on April 28, 2008. It doubled Tacoma’s lead to 2-0.
The Rainiers would score in the third innings as Vogelbach hammered a two-run shot over the wall in right field to score Powell and extend their lead 4-0.
Three more runs came across for Tacoma in the bottom of the fifth, and Powell and Tyler O’Neill capped the home side’s scoring with back-to-back, two-out doubles in the sixth to extend the Rainiers lead to 8-0.
Tacoma nightcap starter, Tyler Cloyd, who was making his Rainiers debut, worked 3 2/3 scoreless innings while allowing just two hits and striking out three. Reliever Nick Hagadone (1-1), who posted 1 1/3 perfect innings of work, picked up the win.
Round Rock (15-21) managed one run in the top of the seventh inning to avoid the game two shutout. Jurickson Profar opened the frame with a double and came around to score three batters later, solidifying the final score of 8-1.
The Rainiers and Express return to action Sunday afternoon for the series finale with first pitch scheduled for 1:35 p.m. Right-hander Andrew Moore (1-0, 4.76 ERA) will take the mound for Tacoma against Round Rock righty Anthony Bass (0-0, 1.35).