Falcons hang on for crazy 12-11 win

photo by Doug Guler
photo by Doug Guler

With the warm sun and just a hint of a breeze, Falcon Field was an idyllic setting on Tuesday afternoon for a baseball game.  And when the Falcons took a 10-0 lead over visiting Mendocino after just four innings, things were looking downright rosy for the home team.   With an 11-1 lead after six innings, head coach Rich Gregory inserted a host of reserves who were hungry for some playing time.  Starter Gabe Emmett had done his job and was in line to pick up the win, having pitched six strong innings while allowing one unearned run and just two hits.  But in the seventh, three Falcon relievers failed to get an out while 9 consecutive Eagles reached base by various means.  The Eagles benefitted from 4 hits, 4 walks, an error, a wild pitch, and a passed ball to the tune of 7 runs before the first out was recorded.  By the time the inning ended, two more runs crossed the plate, making it a very uncomfortable 11-10 Falcon lead.  It stayed that way until the ninth, when the Eagles took advantage of a leadoff walk – and with the help of a passed ball – manufactured the tying run.  But in the bottom half of the inning, the Falcons responded by loading the bases on two hits and a walk, then got the walk-off win when outfielder Braeden Holliday was hit by a pitch, forcing in the winning run.  Although not exactly what coach Gregory had in mind, the win was the Falcons' 10th of the young season and preserved the Falcons' perfect 6-0 record at home in 2020.  The Falcons will play at Contra Costa on Thursday, then return home to host the Comets on Friday afternoon in their final non-conference game before opening Big 8 play next week.