Isotopes Walk-Off With 7-6 Win Over Z'sApril 25, 2011 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) Albuquerque Isotopes
With the score knotted at 6-6 in the ninth, the red-hot Corey Smith ignited the Isotopes rally with a lead-off single, one of three hits on the night for the big first baseman. Trent Oeltjen then lined a single to center, moving Smith to third, before pinch-hitter Damaso Espino was drilled by a pitch from Steve Cishek in the back loading the bases with nobody out. That put Closser in the position to be the hero and the switch-hitting catcher came through, lifting a sacrifice fly deep to center that chased home Smith and gave Albuquerque the walk-off win.
The ninth inning drama capped a taut game that featured the Isotopes repeatedly taking a lead only to have the Zephyrs repeatedly come back and tie it. The Topes jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first when Smith smacked an RBI single and Russ Mitchell knocked in a run on a sac fly of his own, but the Z's responded in the top of the second with a solo homer by Joe Thurston to cut the Albuquerque lead to 2-1.
Jay Gibbons hammered a two-run double in the second to increase the advantage to 4-1, but New Orleans again stayed in striking distance with two runs in the fifth on back-to-back RBI single by Ruben Gotay and Thurston, making the score 4-3 Topes.
The Zephyrs had two more rallies left in them. After Mitchell crushed a ball over the wall in left center, giving the home team a 5-3 edge, New Orleans answered with two in the seventh to tie. Bryan Peterson started the uprising with a single, stole second and scored on a double by Thurston, who immediately came around to score on a single by Chris Aguila to knot the contest at 5-5. Thurston finished the evening with three RBI and came a triple away from the cycle in the losing effort.
The stalemate would not last long, as Smith added a solo homer of his own in the bottom of the seventh, giving Albuquerque a 6-5 lead, but again, the advantage would prove fleeting. New Orleans scored the equalizer in the eighth when Brad Davis walked, was sacrificed to second, and came home on a ball that was misplayed at second by Justin Sellers, a run that merely set up the inevitable Topes triumph.
Albuquerque starter John Ely was superb for the Topes, going six strong innings in which he allowed three runs on six hits while walking two and striking out three in a no-decision. The right-hander coaxed 12 ground ball outs, tossing a total of 96 pitches.
Reliever Merkin Valdez (1-0) earned the victory for the Isotopes after a scoreless 1.2 innings while Cishek (0-1) suffered the loss.
The Topes will look for a series win on Tuesday behind steady left-hander Dana Eveland (2-1, 3.93), who will get the ball for Albuquerque against New Orleans righty Adalberto Mendez (1-1, 7.02). First pitch is slated for 12:05 PM at Isotopes Park.
Albuquerque and New Orleans close out their series on Tuesday with the second Business Person's Special of the season, which is always a great excuse to play hooky from work. Tickets for any Isotopes game may be purchased at the Isotopes Park Box Office, at Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, or on-line at www.albuquerquebaseball.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
Pacific Coast League Stories from April 25, 2011
- Reno Rallies Late For 6-2 Win Over Fresno - Reno Aces
- Isotopes Walk-Off With 7-6 Win Over Z's - Albuquerque Isotopes
- Montanez Leads Iowa Past Memphis - Memphis Redbirds
- Sky Sox Defeat 51s 6-5 For Fifth Straight Victory - Colorado Springs Sky Sox
- Isotopes Walk Off With 7-6 Win - New Orleans Zephyrs
- Montanez Leads Cubs Over Redbirds - Iowa Cubs
- Round Rock Express Halt Skid, Top Redhawks 5-4 - Round Rock Express
- Giavotella's Late Hit Leads Storm Chasers Over Sounds - Omaha Storm Chasers
- Express Rally For Monday Win Over RedHawks - Oklahoma City RedHawks
- Ninth-Inning Run Leads Omaha Past Sounds, 2-1 - Nashville Sounds
- Amarista Gets First Major League Call-Up - Salt Lake Bees
- Evan Scribner Recalled by San Diego Padres - Tucson Padres
- Ely Earns PCL Pitcher of the Week Honors - Albuquerque Isotopes
- IF Clint Barmes Joins RedHawks for Pair of Games - Oklahoma City RedHawks
- Round Rock Express - Game Notes Vs. Oklahoma City RedHawks - Round Rock Express
- River Cats Jai Miller Earns Pacific Coast League Player of the Week - Sacramento River Cats
- Rojo Johnson Returns to Central Texas - Round Rock Express
- PCL Names Player and Pitcher of the Week - PCL
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