The Surprise Saguaros came into Thursday’s action with a four-game losing streak. Nearing the halfway point of the 30-game season, they had a 5-8 record, which put them three games back in their division. The Saguaros had Cole Tucker, Will Craig and Bryan Reynolds all in the lineup on Thursday, as they took on last place Glendale at home. Surprise lost 21-8, despite having the go ahead run on base in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Bryan Reynolds grounded out to third base to start the second inning. He committed his first error of the fall in the fourth on a throw. Reynolds grounded out to second base in the fourth inning. He walked to load the bases in the fifth inning, then grounded out to second base to end the seventh inning. Reynolds walked in the ninth, leaving him 0-for-3 with two walks. He committed a second throwing error later in the game, which is significant because he had just two throwing errors in his first three seasons of pro ball combined. He also misplayed a fly ball late in a crucial situation, but didn’t get charged for an error. Reynolds has a .120 average in nine games, though he does have eight walks and only three strikeouts.
Cole Tucker grounded out to shortstop in his first at-bat. He hit an RBI single on a line drive to center field in the fourth inning. He grounded out in his third at-bat in a big spot, making the third out with two runners in scoring position and Surprise trailing 8-4 at the time. Tucker singled on a line drive to right field in the eighth and scored two batters later. He grounded out in the ninth, leaving him 2-for-5 on the day. He’s hitting .351/.435/.459 in nine games.
Will Craig was the DH on Thursday, batting seventh in the lineup. He singled on a line drive to left field in his first at-bat. He lined out to center field in the fourth, though the runners on first base and second base both moved up on the play. Craig flew out to left field in the sixth inning, then singled to load the bases in the eighth with no outs. He flew out to center field in the ninth to end the game. Craig finished 2-for-5, giving him a .289 average in ten games.
Matt Eckelman pitched the fifth inning and had some control issues, mixed in with a costly error by Cole Tucker. Eckelman walked two batters and gave up a single. Two runs would score, one being earned. The error by Tucker came on a routine double play grounder that he took his eye off of right before it got to his glove. Instead of a man on third and two outs, the bases were loaded with no outs. Eckelman threw 29 pitches, 16 for strikes and he picked up one strikeout. He has a 13.50 ERA and has allowed runs in all four of his appearances.
Geoff Hartlieb came on in the seventh inning. He started the inning with three straight singles, though the third one was an attempted sac bunt that ended up as a single. That was followed by a line drive right to the second baseman, who got a second out at first base. Hartlieb allowed an RBI single that scored two runs, and Bryan Reynolds committed his second throwing error on the play. According to someone there, it was a hard grounder under the third baseman’s glove, so it could have easily been the last out and no runs scored. A sharp grounder to shortstop ended the inning.
Hartlieb was back out for the eighth and started the inning with a ground out to first base, followed by a single to center field. He recorded the second out on a line drive to left field, then gave up another single. Hartlieb ended the inning with a strikeout. He was going heavy with his sinker in this game, while also working on his changeup.
Surprise travels to Scottsdale tomorrow for a 3:35 PM EST start.