It’s not often a player hits a go-ahead home run after his team had fallen behind. It’s even rarer when he does it twice.
Palo Verde’s Dylan Orlando blasted two two-run homers to untie the game Friday, and the Panthers held on to beat visiting Cimarron-Memorial 9-8.
“As a coach and as a guy that wants to see him do good, it’s just so fun to see a kid come through like that,” Palo Verde coach Joe Hallead said. “What a memorable day for him. Senior day, two home runs, four RBIs.”
Orlando’s first chance came in the third inning with the Panthers trailing 2-0. They scored twice to tie the game, and with two outs, Orlando blasted the first pitch he saw over the right-field fence for a 4-2 lead.
Cimarron scored five runs in the fifth inning, and again Palo Verde (21-8-1, 14-4 Northwest League) tied the game in front of Orlando. And again Orlando gave the pitch a ride, this time to center field to give Palo Verde a 9-7 lead.
“Once they took the lead in the fifth inning, I just wanted to get us back on the board,” Orlando said.
Palo Verde threw six pitchers, and Ryan Merino, Ryan Meng, and J.D. Brooks threw shutout innings. Chandler Kochan got the win, and Brooks pitched the seventh for a save.
Jaxon Hammond had a double, three RBIs and two runs for the Panthers, who scored their runs in two innings. Palo Verde’s Asher Bouldin went 3-for-4 with a double and scored twice.
Zach Culver doubled for the Spartans (17-13, 9-9), Trevor Doyle went 3-for-4, and Lasith Narasinghe was 2-for-2 with two runs, two RBIs and a steal of home.
Though senior day matters to the seniors, the game didn’t matter much. Palo Verde had clinched the No. 2 seed in the Northwest League and will host Spring Valley next week in the playoffs. Cimarron was locked into the No. 3 seed and will travel to Desert Oasis.