Eric Farris Walk-Off Hit Gives Rochester Red Wings 10th Inning Win
Eric Farris had been having a tough night for the Rochester Red Wings. He was 0-5 through the first nine innings, with two strike outs, but he delivered when given the opportunity to erase all that, singling in the bottom of the tenth inning to give Rochester the 8-7, 1oth inning win.
Jason Wheeler started for the Red Wings and struggled early on. The Durham Bulls scored two runs in the second and three in the third to stake themselves to a 5-0 lead. In the second Taylor Motter tripled with one out, and scored when Allan Dykstra singled. Curt Casali followed with a double, but Dykstra was thrown out at the plate on a nice relay from Farris to James Beresford to Eric Fryer. Luke Malie plated the other run when his double scored Casali.
In the third Jake Elmore singled with one out, and Eugenio Velez followed with a walk. Mikie Mahtook doubled, scoring Elmore and extending the lead to three. Motter’s sacrifice fly brought home Velez, and a single by Casali drove home Mahtook.
In the bottom of the third the Red Wings got a run back. Argenis Diaz hit a slow roller that he beat out for a single. Nate Hanson doubled to score Diaz. Matt Andriese was the starter for Durham, and despite giving up the run, he had looked incredibly sharp through the first three frames. He retired the Red Wings in order in the first, and gave up a single in the second before closing out the inning.
In the fourth the Red Wings figured the Durham starter out. Kennys Vargas singled to begin the bottom of the fourth and Danny Ortiz doubled to move him to third. Eric Fryer lined a single into center field to score both runners and pull Rochester within two. Two hitters later Diaz singled and that was it for Andriese.
Jordan Norberto took over and got the Bulls out of danger in the fourth, but in the fifth he struggled as well. The first five Red Wings hitters that came to the plate reached base. Beresford singled to lead off the inning, and Josmil Pinto and Vargas followed with walks to load the bases. Ortiz then lined a single into left field that sent Beresford and Pinto home to tie the score. Eric Fryer walked and after Norberto finally recorded his first out of the inning his day was done.
Andy Oliver took over and gave up a ground rule double to Diaz that scored two more. That gave the Red Wings their first lead of the game. They had erased a five run deficit, and in three innings turned it into a two run lead.
The euphoria of the lead did not last long. In the top of the sixth Casali hit his second home run of the season to pull the Bulls within one run. In the seventh Tim Stauffer relieved for the Red Wings and gave up back-to-back doubles with one out that tied the game.
Caleb Thielbar had taken over for Rochester in the eighth inning and he delivered. He allowed 2 hits and 3 walks in his 2.2 innings of work, but he made great pitches to keep Durham off of the scoreboard and give his team the chance to win.
In the bottom of the tenth that is what they did. Jose Dominguez came on to pitch for Durham. He got in trouble right away. Wilkin Ramirez singled to start the inning, and back-to-back walks to Diaz and Nate Hanson loaded the bases. That brought up Farris looking to end the game and give the fans something to cheer about. He took a Dominguez offering and blasted it in right field to give the Rochester Red Wings the win.
Thielbar (2-1) earned the victory. Dominguez (0-1) took the loss.
Casali had a huge day at the plate for the Durham Bulls. He finished 3-4 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI. Vargas and Diaz each went 3-4 for Rochester. Vargas scored two runs and Diaz scored a run and had two RBI.
Tomorrow the Rochester Red Wings move onto Norfolk. Ace Pat Dean (3-2, 2.44) faces Norfolk ace Michael Bowden (2-1, 2.36). Game time is 6:35 local time.
By Robert Pannier