(AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 7/3/19) — After hobbling to a slow 2-6 start, the Doubledays have battled their way over the .500 mark for the first time this season.
The second come-from-behind win against the Black Bears (9-9) in as many games put Auburn at 9-8 on the season and only two games behind the first place Batavia Muckdogs in the Pinckney Division.
The Doubledays wasted little time getting on the board, putting up a two-spot to start the game in front of a packed Falcon Park. Caldioli Sanfler – who finished the day 3-for-4 – led off the game with a double and scored on J.T. Arruda’s second triple of the season.
Wilmer Perez made it 2-0 on an RBI groundout before coming up huge with a three-run, first pitch home run in the third inning. The Doubledays tacked on one more in the fourth on an Eric Senior RBI single.
Starter Leif Strom was lights out in the early going of the Doubledays’ longest outing yet for a starting pitcher. After starting the season in Single-A Harrisburg, Strom finished the night with 83 pitches (55 strikes) and threw five innings of one-run ball – a solo home run by William Matthiessen in the fourth – before getting roughed up to start the sixth.
Matthiessen popped his second homer in as many appearances – a two-run shot – that cut the Doubledays’ lead to 6-3. Matthew Fraizer followed up his home run with a double, and after inducing a pop-up for the second out, Strom was pulled in favor of lefty Gilberto Chu. Chu allowed his inherited runner to score but otherwise threw 2.1 scoreless innings.
Pearson McMahan – who signed a free agent deal with the Nationals after getting released by the Colorado Rockies – came in to close it out for the Doubledays, needing only eight pitches to secure the win as well as his second save of the season.
“The bullpen’s pretty comfortable (for me),” said McMahan. “I was a starter with Colorado but now, going back to the ‘pen, it’s pretty easy to go back to”