Errors pave way for Gators

Las Vegas High’s Jerome Byndloss was rolling Tuesday until his defense let him down.

The senior right-hander took a no-hitter into the fifth, but back-to-back errors to start the inning opened the door for Green Valley.

And the Gators took advantage.

Green Valley scored five unearned runs in the fifth on the way to a 5-1 home win over the Wildcats.

“We capitalized on a couple of their mistakes, which is obviously what you want out of your team,” Green Valley coach Corey Gehlken said.

Sophomore Jarod Penniman broke up the no-hitter with a ground ball through the right side of the infield to bring home Ty Burger to tie the game 1-1.

Christian Hall followed with a ground ball just out of the reach of Las Vegas first baseman Eddie Ojeda for a two-run single that made the score 3-1.

After Keaton Smith doubled, Jarrett Perns singled through the left side of a drawn-in infield to score two runs.

“I told them to just keep hitting hard ground balls and line drives, stay with the philosophy and good things are going to happen,” Gehlken said. “Lucky for us, a couple went our way, and then we capitalized from there.”

Gehlken said the team never got down even though Byndloss was in control early.

“The kids in the dugout stayed real positive,” Gehlken said. “They were trying to take good approaches. Their kid did a heck of a job of keeping us off balance with his rhythm and attacking us on the inner half.”

Ryan Jackson allowed one run on three hits in five innings to get the win for Green Valley (16-7, 5-0 Northeast League) in his first outing in three weeks. He struck out seven with no walks.

“He started off the season great for us, was just tearing it up,” Gehlken said. “We go down to Arizona, he pitches down there, and the first thing he said was something didn’t feel right in his arm. So we actually shut him down.”

All three of Las Vegas’ hits came with two outs in the second inning, and all were ground balls that found their way through the right side of the infield. Tyler Tidwell’s single scored the only run for Las Vegas (11-9, 3-2).

“To be honest with you, those are pitches I think he kind of beat them on, they just did a great job of fighting them off and just getting a barrel on it,” Gehlken said. “Those are great pieces of hitting.”

The win gives the Gators a two-game lead over Las Vegas, Rancho and Silverado at the midway point of league play.

“It was a huge win for us, actually,” Gehlken said. “The last two wins are the two biggest wins of the year for us without a doubt.”

Contact prep sports editor Damon Seiters at dseiters@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4587. Follow @DamonSeiters on Twitter.

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