Sheets' Sac Fly Sends Barons Past Shuckers in Extras
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Gavin Sheets' sacrifice fly in the 12th inning sent the Birmingham Barons (63-71) to a 6-5 win over the Biloxi Shuckers (81-56) on Saturday night at Regions Field.
The 12-inning contest marked Birmingham's longest (by innings) during the 2019 campaign.
Luis Valenzuela began the frame on second base and moved to third via a sacrifice bunt from Ti'Quan Forbes. White Sox No. 9 prospect Luis Basabe followed with an infield single, his second hit of the night, to place a pair of runners aboard. The Shuckers opted to intentionally walk Blake Rutherford before Sheets lifted a fly ball to right-center field, which allowed Valenzuela to cross the plate with the winning run.
The Barons improved to 5-5 in extra-inning games this season.
Biloxi right-hander Anthony Bender (L, 0-1) suffered the loss, while Barons right-hander Luis Martinez (W, 5-2) collected his fifth win of the season out of the bullpen.
Laz Rivera provided an early offensive spark for the Barons with base knocks in the second and fourth innings. His RBI-single in the fourth gave Birmingham a 2-1 lead at the time.
Biloxi responded with a three-run sixth to take a 4-2 advantage before an eighth-inning wild pitch and ninth-inning error helped the Barons send the game to extras.
Rivera third hit of the night, an RBI-double down the left-field line, leveled the score once more in the 11th before Sheets' sacrifice fly in the 12th sealed the win.
The Barons won for just the fourth time (4-56) when they trailed after eight innings of play.
Both starters - Birmingham's Blake Battenfield and Biloxi's Dylan File - settled for no-decisions. Battenfield surrendered three runs on six his and struck out four across five innings of work in his final start of the 2019 campaign.
Martinez, along with right-handers Codi Heuer, Mauricio Cabrera and Alec Hansen, combined to allow just one unearned run in seven innings of relief work. Hansen fanned four in two innings, while Cabrera struck out the side in the ninth in a strong showing for the bullpen.
The Barons and Shuckers will continue their five-game series Sunday night as Birmingham sends left-hander Tanner Banks (4-7, 4.46) to the mound against Biloxi left-hander Cameron Roegner (5-5, 4.44).
First pitch is set for 4 p.m. CT at Regions Field and the game will be broadcast via WJOX-AM 690.
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Southern League Stories from August 31, 2019
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