August 7, 2017 - Carolina League (CarL) - Wilmington Blue Rocks
Wilmington, DE - In a game which they never led until the final inning, the Wilmington Blue Rocks (60-53/21-22) stunned the Frederick Keys (51-60/20-22) with a 5-4 walk-off win in 10 innings to earn a pivotal series win Sunday night at Frawley Stadium. Nick Heath tied the game with an RBI single before Roman Collins laced a base hit through a drawn in infield to earn the ninth walk-off victory of the season for Wilmington. With the win, the Rocks took three of the four games in the crucial series and moved into third place in the Northern Division Standings.
In a back-and-forth game between the two divisional rivals, the Keys took their fourth lead of the ballgame when Ademar Rifaela clubbed his second homer of the game to put the Rocks down 4-3 in the top of the tenth inning. However, the rallying Rocks never wavered. Nate Esposito clubbed his second double of the game down the right field line to put the tying-run in scoring position. Heath followed with a game-tying single to left field to score Esposito and then advanced to second base on a fielding error by Frederick's left fielder Randolph Gassaway. Jecksson Flores dropped down a sacrifice bunt to advance Heath to third before Collins played hero and drove the game-winning single to complete the comeback.
The scoring commenced in the middle innings. In the top of the fourth inning, Rifaela lined a solo homer over the right field wall to make it a 1-0 deficit for the Rocks. In the home half of the inning, Wilmington answered with a run of their own. Collins led the inning off with a single, advanced to second on a fielder's choice and Wander Franco drove him home with a two-out single to tie the game, 1-1.
In the fifth, the Keys were at it again and used a two-out rally to regain the lead. Armando Araiza doubled and then Drew Turbin smacked a ground-rule double to plate Araiza to put the Rocks behind, 2-1. Again, the Rocks were able to knot the game thanks to a missed catch by Keys' third baseman Jomar Reyes on a snap throw from home to allow Jose Sanchez to score. Esposito tried to score the go-ahead run on the same play, but was thrown out at home by Gassaway in left field.
In the seventh, Frederick took its third lead of the game on a run-scoring single from Araiza to make it a 3-2 ballgame. However, the resilient Rocks rallied once again. With two outs, Sanchez drew a walk before Esposito ripped a double down the left field line to plate Sanchez to knot the game once more, 3-3.
The Blue Rocks are back in action on Tuesday, August 8 when they begin a three-game series with the Down East Wood Ducks. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. with LHP Cristian Castillo (6-8, 3.65 ERA) making the start for the Blue Rocks. Fans can listen to the game as Matt Janus and Cory Nidoh will have the call on 89.7 WGLS-FM.