By Kyle Hines
SALT LAKE CITY– Fueled by Taylorsville native JohnBuck, the New Orleans Zephyrs overpowered the Salt Lake Stingers 11-4 Monday night, May 26.
The Zephyrs” catcher, on his way to four RBIs, hit abases-clearing triple that pushed the game out of reach for the hometown Stingers.
“It was fun just to come to the plate,” Buck said.
“To do well was just icing on the cake.” The scoring started in the fourth inning when the Stingers jumped ahead 1-0. The early lead, usually a good sign for the AAA club, didn”t last long, however, as the Zephyrs exploded for eightruns overthe next two innings.
New Orleans” shortstop Eric Bruntlett”s two-run homerprovided the firepower for the Zephyrs” four-run fifth inning. Bruntlett rifled a shot that just cleared the center-field wall and the outstretched glove of Stingers” outfielder Julio Ramirez. Three batters later a double by Royce Huffman brought in two more runs for New Orleans.
The Zephyrs continued the scoring by adding an additional four runs in the sixth inning. Second baseman Dave Matranga hit a one-out double that plated two runs and highlighting the scoring burst.
Salt Lake, behind the bat of Adam Riggs, tried to make a game of it by scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh. But Buck”s bases-clearing triple extinguished all hope of a Salt Lake comeback.
The loss dropped Salt Lake to 23-26 and was the second loss in as many nights for the team.
Stingers manager Mike Brumley was baffled at the way his team has played after an eight-game winning streak.
“You give up 30 runs in two nights, it”s hard to take,” Brumley said. “I didn”t care for the effort tonight.”
Brumley voiced his frustration to the team in a 10-minute, closed-door meeting.
“They played a good solid two games and we didn”t. We were careless on defense…doing some things that it takes to lose games,” Brumley said. “It reminded me of the first three weeks of April, when we just didn”t look like we were competing.”
Salt Lake looks to get back on track as it starts an eight-game road trip Tuesday, May 27, against the Las Vegas 51”s.