An Alex Del Rio home run lifted the Sedalia Bombers to a 5-2 win in game one of Monday’s doubleheader against the Nevada Griffons, but a Cody Farrell homer helped Nevada win the second game 7-4 in eight innings.
Nevada got two on in the top of the eighth inning of game two and Farrell gave the Griffons a 7-4 lead with a home run.
The Bombers went down in order in the bottom of the eighth.
But Sedalia was able to start the doubleheader off with a win with the help of Sam Perez on the mound and Del Rio at the plate.
The Bombers had at least one baserunner in the first five innings of game one, but only had one run come across and trailed Nevada 2-1.
Perez got the leadoff hitter to ground out in the sixth and struck out the next two.
“Sam Perez kept us in the game,” said Bombers coach Craig McAndrews. “He does it every time. We didn’t play defense behind him that great but at the same time he kept us in a two-run game.”
Then the Bombers’ offense did its part by scoring four runs.
Jordan Dey singled and Jonathan Ramon walked before Del Rio delivered with his second home run of the season to put Sedalia up 4-2.
Del Rio was originally going to bunt, but ended up swinging after getting two strikes on him.
“I was pretty frustrated that I couldn’t get down the first two bunts,” Del Rio said. “With two strikes he threw me an off-speed for a ball and I thought he’d come back with a fastball and I’ll try to get a good swing on it. He threw me low and in and I got a good swing on it.”
The Bombers later loaded the bases and Jack Mercer scored when Justin Holt was hit by a pitch.
Nevada’s starting pitcher Connor Fannon hit five batters and Austin Allison hit Holt.
“As a hitter it crosses your mind that you might get hit but you just have to get that out of your head and be ready to hit,” Del Rio said.
For the Bombers, Perez finished off his outing by retiring the Griffons in order in the seventh. Perez allowed two unearned runs on five hits and struck out nine.
Defense cost the Bombers in the second inning when Farrell singled with one out and later went to second on a passed ball. He ended up scoring when Chris Kobar reached on a Chance McMullin error in right field.
Nevada also took advantage of an error in the third inning. Anthony Davison singled to lead off the inning and went to second on a wild pitch.
After a groundout, an infield single, a strikeout and Tyler Bodenstab advancing to second on a passed ball, Dusty Wright reached on a throwing error by Hunter Leeper at third base. Davison scored on the play to make it 2-0 Nevada.
In the bottom of the third, McMullin reached on an error and Stewart Nelson bunted him over. After a Jarod Perry groundout to get McMullin to third, a passed ball allowed McMullin to slide underneath a tag and score.
Leeper was ejected in the fourth inning after arguing a called third strike.
“I thought the ball was inside,” McAndrews said. “He drew a line and said it’s in the batter’s box and you can’t do that. I agree it wasn’t a strike but at the same time you have to keep your composure.”
Dey went from first to third on defense to take Leeper’s spot. Travis Tokarek entered the game to play first base.
The Bombers will continue their busy schedule with a doubleheader at 4 p.m. today against Branson before hosting Joplin at 4 p.m. Wednesday for another doubleheader.
The doubleheader split keeps Sedalia 2.5 games back from division-leading St. Joseph with eight games remaining.
“We always fight,” Del Rio said. “It’s the home stretch and we’ll definitely give it our all to win as many games as we can so we can make it to the championship game.”
Jason Strickland can be reached at 660-530-0147 or on Twitter @J_Strick_Sports.