CT Tigers Lose Season Finale in Extras at Lowell
LOWELL, Ma. - Kingston Liniak hit a go-ahead, two-run homer for the Connecticut Tigers (29-44) in the eighth inning but the Lowell Spinners (37-38) battled back to walk off Connecticut during the season finale, 5-4 in 10 innings at LeLacheur Park on Labor Day.
Liniak, a 2018 Detroit Tigers fourth-round draft pick, gave Connecticut a 4-2 lead in the top of the eighth inning on his first career New York-Penn League home run. Lowell rallied in the bottom of the inning to load the bases against Tigers reliever Alfredo Silva. All-Star closer Yaya Chentouf inherited three base runners with one out and allowed an RBI groundout from Korby Batesole before he stranded runners at second and third to keep the Tigers in front, 4-3.
With a chance to tie Connecticut's single-season saves record, Chentouf suffered a blown save in the bottom of the ninth when a wild pitch scored Tyler Esplin from third base to tie the game, 4-4. Moments later, Chentouf walked the bases loaded but baserunner Ramfis Berroa wandered too far off third base and the Tigers threw him out in a rundown to force extra innings.
The Tigers stranded their tie-breaking runner at third base in the tenth inning. In the bottom of the frame, Tigers first baseman Jordan Verdon threw out Lowell's tie-breaking runner at third base on a fielder's choice but a passed ball and a wild pitch from Jayce Vancena (Loss, 0-2) led to Juan Carlos Abreu's walk-off RBI single toward right field that scored Alan Marrero from third.
Lowell held the Tigers hitless into the fifth inning when Hector Martinez broke through on a one-out double to center field and Clark Brinkman immediately followed with an RBI double to the wall in left-center field against Lowell starter Yorvin Pantoja. Brinkman moved to third on a throwing error and scored moments later on an RBI groundout by Isrrael De La Cruz for a 2-0 lead.
Tigers starter Adam Wolf allowed one baserunner and struck out two Spinners in three scoreless frames. Reliever Juan Aguilera gave up an RBI double to Dylan Hardy in the fifth and Chavez Fernander allowed a game-tying RBI in his NYPL debut on a sixth-inning double.
At the conclusion of the 2018 NYPL season, Chentouf finished third in the league with nine saves and tied for most games finished with 18. All-Star starter Jose Vasquez posted a team-best 3.45 earned run average and led the Tigers with five wins. First baseman Nick Ames led the Tigers with four home runs in 2018 and outfielder Darwin Alvarado tallied a team-high 18 runs batted in this season. Catcher Sam McMillan drew a team-leading 25 walks and 12 hit-by-pitches while De La Cruz stole 11 bases and scored 24 runs to pace Connecticut.
The Connecticut Tigers are the New York-Penn League affiliate of the Detroit Tigers at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Connecticut. 2019 season ticket memberships to "The Club" and official CT Tigers team merchandise are available for purchase by phone at 860-887-7962 and online at CTTigers.com.
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