Kenneth Jimenez was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning of a 6-6 tie on Thursday, forcing home the winning run for the Nogales Apaches in their 2020 baseball season home opener against Canyon Del Oro.
Nogales took an early 2-0 lead in the game, scoring in the first inning on an RBI single by Pablo Araujo, and again in the third on a double by Brayan Espinoza and an RBI single by Matt Bachelier.
CDO scored five times in the top of the fourth to take a 5-2 lead, but the Apaches came back to tie the score in the bottom half of the inning, two of the runs coming on a two-out, two-run double by Espinoza.
CDO went up 6-5 in the top of the fifth, but Nogales mounted a two-out rally in the sixth when Demetrio Crisantes and Jimenez singled and Espinoza reached on a run-scoring error.
Saul Soto, who came on in relief to pitch a scoreless sixth inning, kept CDO off the board again in the top of the seventh to preserve the tie and help set up the game-winning rally.
Thursday’s win for Nogales followed the team’s successful appearance in the pre-season Scottsdale Invitational tournament, in which the Apaches went 4-1.
They are set to play in another tournament – the Boras Baseball Classic – March 11-14 in Phoenix. Their next home game is at 6 p.m. on March 23 against Rio Rico at War Memorial Stadium in Nogales, a game that was rescheduled from an original date of March 19.