Torres Knock Wins Wild One for 'Birds
SALISBURY, MD - After a seven-pitch at-bat, Alexis Torres lined a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth, propelling the Delmarva Shorebirds to a 2-1 win over the Lakewood BlueClaws on Wednesday afternoon at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
The Shorebirds (34-10) ninth inning began with a 10-pitch battle between Cadyn Grenier and the BlueClaws' (15-30) Victor Santos, resulting in a Grenier walk. Gilmael Troya then replaced Santos and induced a popout before Ben Breazeale singled to left. Both runners then advanced on a wild pitch, prompting Lakewood to intentionally walk Jean Carlos Encarnacion and setting the stage for Torres. On a 3-2 count, Torres ripped it into right field to score Grenier and deliver the Shorebirds' fourth walkoff win of the season.
Tim Naughton (2-2) collected the win for the Shorebirds after throwing two innings of scoreless relief, allowing just one hit. Victor Santos (2-4) took the loss for the BlueClas after going three-plus innings and allowing the winning run on three hits.
In the top of the first, Shorebirds starter Gray Fenter walked the first three batters he faced to load the bases. Malvin Matos then bounced into a double play ,bringing home the first run of the game for Lakewood. After the double play, Fenter got Carlos De La Cruz to fly out to center to end the inning, stranding a runner at third.
The BlueClaws threatened again in the top of the third. With one out, Jonathan Guzman singled and Matt Kroon followed with a walk. After a wild pitch and strikeout, Malvin Matos was hit by a pitch to load the bases. De La Cruz failed to capitalize again, though, as he struck out swinging to end the scoring chance.
The bottom of the third began with back-to-back strikeouts before Robbie Thorburn singled. Doran Turchin then struck out, but a dropped third strike allowed him to reach first base safely as Lakewood catcher Jack Conley threw the ball into center field trying to catch Thorburn stealing second. With runners now at first and second, Adam Hall chopped a single down the right field line, scoring Thorburn and tying the game at 1-1.
After a strikeout opened the Lakewood sixth, the BlueClaws strung together a De La Cruz single and walks to Conley and Hunter Stovall to load the bases for the third time in the game. Reliever Zac Matson, who came in wiht one out, worked around the danger by striking out Jimmy Smith and getting Jake Holmes to fly out to right to keep the game knotted at 1-1.
With two outs in the seventh, a Ben Pelletier single and Cole Stobbe walk gave Lakewood another two-out scoring chance, but Matson again wriggled out of the jam by striking out De La Cruz looking.
The Shorebirds threatened themselves with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Breazeale singled and Encarnacion doubled to put two into scoring position. Torres struck out swinging to extinguish the threat, but Torres would have the last laugh in the ninth.
On his 20th birthday, Hall collected his 16th multi-hit game of the season for Delmarva, going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Ben Breazeale also picked up two hits, finishing 2-for-4.
The Fenter-Matson-Naughton connection kept the BlueClaws hitless (0-for-10) with runners in scoring position. Shorebirds pitching ended up stranding 11 Lakewood baserunners on.
Delmarva starter Fenter lasted 5.1 innings, allowing just one run on three hits while walking five and striking out six in a no-decision. Francisco Morales was dominant for Lakewood but ultimately did not factor into the decision after throwing four innings, striking out 10 while allowing one unearned run on two hits and one walk.
Twenty-eight of the Shorebirds' 34 wins have now come by three runs or fewer. In one-run games, Delmarva is an astounding 12-2.
The Shorebirds continue their series against the BlueClaws on Thursday night. Drew Rom (2-0, 1.72) gets the start for Delmarva while Lakewood will send Kevin Gowdy (0-1, 3.00) to the mound. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. with gates opening at 6:00. The first 500 fans through the gates Thursday at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium will receive a pink Shorebirds hat, presented by Spicer Bros. Construction in conjunction with Women Supporting Women. It is also KISS 95.9 Thirsty Thursday presented by Salisbury Pit & Pub, as well as Maryland Pride Thursday. Pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 6:50 with Will DeBoer and Sam Jellinek on the call.
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