Palo Verde’s Bryce Robison didn’t quite get the day off that coach Joe Hallead wanted to give him.
The Panthers are lucky Robison was pressed into service.
Robison hit a pinch-hit, three-run homer in the seventh inning Wednesday to give Palo Verde a lead, and the Panthers scored two more runs in a 12-8 road win over Cimarron-Memorial.
“Bryce is really our No. 5 hitter, but he pitched yesterday so I gave him a day off,” Hallead said. “During the game, I said, ‘Stay loose, you’re going to get an at-bat.’ And the kid came in in the top of seventh and produced a three-run, go-ahead home run for us.”
The Panthers (7-1, 3-0 Northwest League) trailed 8-7 entering the seventh, but Noah Williamson, who had just come into the game defensively in the sixth inning, lined a single just out of the reach of leaping Cimarron shortstop Zach Culver to start the inning.
After a hit batter, Robison lifted a high fly ball down the left-field line. It appeared the ball might go foul, but the wind brought it back into fair territory for a three-run homer and the lead.
“I ended up having two strikes, and I got a curveball,” Robison said. “I just tried to keep it simple. Luckily, kind of with the wind’s help, it went over the fence.”
Josiah Cromwick added a two-run homer to left-center field, his second home run of the game, in the inning to make the score 12-8.
The Panthers hit five home runs, including solo shots by Cromwick and Peyton Cole in the first.
But Cimarron (2-5, 0-3) used a six-run second inning to take a lead that the Spartans held until the seventh. The win completed a three-game sweep of the Northwest League series.
“It definitely feels great to get a sweep,” Robison said. “It was a great team win. Everyone contributed, especially guys that came off the bench in the late innings. We kind of kept our cool. We knew what we had to do pitching and hitting. We had to chip away.”
Cromwick finished 3-for-3 with five runs and three RBIs, and Jacob Godman went 3-for-5 with a homer, a double and four RBIs. Godman also pitched two scoreless innings of relief to get the win.
Lasith Narasinghe went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs to pace Cimarron.
Palo Verde 12, Cimarron-Memorial 8