The Wilmington Blue Rocks went to extra innings to get the 9-7 win against the Lynchburg Hillcats at Calvin Falwell Field.
It took 13 innings to get Saturday’s road win which is their third extra inning game of the season for the Blue Rocks.
Some of the offensive standouts in the game were third baseman Emmanuel Rivera, DH D.J. Burt and second baseman Gabriel Cancel.
Rivera had two runs, four hits and three RBIs in six at bats in the win.
Burt had one run, two hits, three strikeouts and two RBIs in six at bats in the win.
Cancel had three runs, one hit, one walk and one strikeout in five at bats in the win.
On the pitching side for the Blue Rocks, Jace Vines had a solid start which he went six innings, seven hits, two runs, two earned runs,one walk and three strikeouts in the game.
Slow Start in Early Innings
Hillcats starting pitcher Tanner Tully and Rocks staring pitcher Jace Vines dominated the first three innings with neither lineup could muster up a run.
In the bottom of the fourth inning that changed when Hillcats second baseman Dillon Persinger grounded out to score DH Trenton Brooks to give their team a 1-0 lead.
Hillcats scored again in the bottom of the fifth inning when Rocks pitcher Jace Vines threw a wild pitch which scored left fielder Mitch Longo to increase Hillcats lead to 2-0.
Rocks Finally Get On The Board
It took some time but the Rocks finally scored a couple of runs in the sixth inning to tie the game at two.
First, it was third baseman Emmanuel Rivera who batted in a run by hitting a line drive double to right field which scored second baseman Gabriel Cancel which decreased Hillcats lead to 2-1.
Then, it was first baseman Travis Jones who batted in a run by hitting a single to left field which scored Rivera and tied the game at two.
Rocks Vines was able to blank Lynchburg’s lineup in the sixth which would be his final inning of the game.
As we mentioned earlier, Vines went six innings, seven hits, two runs, two earned runs,one walk and three strikeouts in the game.
Rocks took the lead in the eighth inning when Lynchburg’s Jared Robinson threw a wild pitch which scored Rivera and gave Wilmington a 3-2 lead.
The eighth inning would be the last inning for Rocks Corey Ray who came in for relief for Vines.
Ray went two innings, one walk and one strikeout in the game.
Then, it was up to closer Julio Pinto to shut the door for the Rocks for the win and well that did not happen as Hillcats first baseman Emmanuel Tapia hit a solo home run to push the game to extra innings.
Pinto went 0.2 innings, two hits, one run, one earned run, one strikeout and had his first blown save of the year.
Extra Innings For The Win
In the top of the tenth inning, it was once again Rivera who would bat a run in for the Rocks by hitting a single to right field to score Cancel.
Rivera’s single would give the Rocks a 4-3 lead in the tenth but the lead was short lived.
Lynchburg would answer right back in the bottom of the tenth when catcher Li-Jen Chu hit into a sacrifice fly to score Longo which tied the game up at four.
Then in the 11th inning, Rocks answered back with right fielder Nick Heath hitting into a sac fly which scored shortstop Angelo Castellano.
Heath’s sac fly put the Rocks up 5-4 in the 11th inning.
The Hillcats had no problem scoring the tying run in the bottom of the 11th when Tapia hit into a sac fly which scored Brooks.
The 11th inning was the last complete inning that Rocks Vance Tatum would pitch as he went 2.1 innings, two runs and one strikeout in the game.
The never ending game continued into the top of 12th inning when Rivera grounded out which scored DH D.J. Burt and gave Rocks a 6-5 lead.
Rocks were not done scoring just yet, left fielder Rudy Martin singled to right field which scored Cancel and increased Rocks lead to 7-5.
Wilmington was now depending on closer Carter Hope to give the Rocks the extra inning win but again that did not happen as Hillcats Longo had a two run home run which scored Persinger and himself.
Longo’s home run tied the game for the Hillcats and both times when Rocks could of closed the game out, a Hillcat player homered on a Rocks pitcher.
Hope went 1.1 innings, one hit, two runs, one earned run, one walk, one home run, blown first save of the year and won his fourth game of the year.
The 13th inning would be last inning of the game when Rocks Burt singled to left field which scored Castellano and center fielder Blake Perkins and gave the Rocks a 9-7 lead.
It was all up to Tyler Zuber to finally close this game for the Rocks and he did just that.
Zuber sealed the deal for the Rocks and extra inning game was over.
Zuber went 0.2 innings, two strikeouts and earned his second save of the year.
Rocks continue the series with Hillcats tomorrow at Calvin Falwell field with the first pitch at 5:00pm ET.