Soriano, Chiefs Walk off in 14
The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, won a 6-5 marathon matchup in 14 innings over the Columbus Clippers on Tuesday night. Francisco Soriano's first career Triple-A hit - a walkoff double - plated Will Rhymes for the game-winning Chiefs run after four hours and 23 minutes.
In the fateful 14th, Rhymes walked with one out against Columbus reliever Scott Barnes. After a Chris Marrero fly out, Soriano stepped up and worked the count to 3-1 before slashing a base hit down the left-field line. Rhymes raced around third base and slid in ahead of the cutoff throw, setting off a raucous celebration.
Columbus (21-18) kicked off the scoring far before the game's end in the top of the second inning. Jeremy Hermida tripled to lead off the frame, and, after a strikeout, Matt Lawson hit a sacrifice fly to center field to give the Clippers a 1-0 lead.
Both starters - Syracuse's Ross Ohlendorf and Columbus' Joe Martinez - cruised through the next two innings, but in the top of the fifth, Columbus struck again. Lonnie Chisenhall led off the inning with a single into center field. He advanced to third on a single by Cedric Hunter. After a strikeout, Omir Santos singled home Chisenhall and the Clippers took a 2-0 lead.
Martinez held Syracuse (15-23) without a hit through the first four innings, but, in the fifth, Zach Walters ended that stretch with a blast. He launched an 0-2 pitch over the right field wall to cut the deficit in half.
It wouldn't take Columbus long, however, to build its lead back up. In the top of the sixth, Tim Fedroff singled on a soft fly ball to center field. The next batter, Cord Phelps, doubled to center field and Fedroff slid past Chiefs catcher Kris Watts' tag at the plate. Phelps moved to third on the throw home. Following a walk, Chisenhall hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Phelps from third. The Clippers wouldn't stop there, though. Two batters later, Cedric Hunter doubled over the reach of Micah Owings in left field and Hermida touched home to give Columbus 5-1 lead.
That score held until the seventh inning when Syracuse staged a comeback. Owings reached on an infield single to lead off the inning. With one out, Carlos Rivero singled to center field, advancing Owings to third. The next three batters, Costanzo, Watts and Chris Rahl, tallied RBI singles to cut the deficit to 5-4. Kobernus tacked on a base hit to load the bases for Rhymes and knock out Martinez. With right-hander Fernando Nieve in, Rhymes followed with a sacrifice fly to left field that plated Watts and tied the score.
Following a scoreless eighth and ninth inning, the game moved along to extras. In the 12th, Columbus loaded the bases on a two-out single, double and intentional walk. However, Rhymes made good on an off-balance throw to first on a Chisenhall grounder up the middle out to end the threat.
In the bottom of the frame, the Chiefs had a chance to end the game two innings before its eventual finale, when Rhymes drew a one-out walk and advanced to third on a Marrero single to center field. He didn't get any farther, though, as Clippers reliever Jerry Gil got the next two batters out to end the inning.
Syracuse and Columbus are back in action at 7:00 tomorrow for game two of their four game series. Right-hander Chris Young takes the hill for the Chiefs, while right-hander Toru Murata is set to go for the Clippers.
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