(Courtesy Frontier League, Photo Credit: Rick Ulreich)
It took 12 innings, but the River City Rascals prevailed over the Washington Wild Things on Monday night to move within one game of the Frontier League Championship series. Their 2-1 extra inning win was not their prettiest of the year– they left 13 men on base– but in the end, they got the only thing that mattered: the W.
Tommy Mendoza went to the hill for the Rascals and was sharp, lasting five innings while surrendering no runs, two hits, and a walk. Unfortunately his counterpart Troy Marks was just as good, lasting seven-plus innings, giving up four hits, two walks and no runs.
Neither team scored until the ninth inning when Brian McConkey led things off for the Rascals by blooping a single. He would move to third on a base hit by Hector Crespo and then come in on a wild pitch by Jonathan Kountis to make it 1-0 Rascals.
Gabe Shaw came in to close it out for the Rascals and was immediately tagged by Daniel Poma for a double. Poma was moved to third on a groundout by Garrett Rau. Shaw got Scott Kalamar to line out for the second out, but then Carter Bell singled up the middle to make it a tie game.
The Rascals wasted two golden opportunities in extra innings, stranding two men in scoring position in the tenth and the bases loaded in the eleventh. Saxon Butler bailed the team out in the twelfth though, leading off with a solo homer off Zach LeBarron. It was Butler’s first homer of the postseason and eighth of 2014.
Trey Lambert, pitching in his second inning, loaded the bases in the twelfth, but struck out Jose Dore for the second out before turning it over to Chandler Jagodzinski to face Poma with two outs. Jagodzinski went to a full count with the Wild Thing leadoff man before getting the strikeout to end the game and secure the 2-1 win.
The Rascals now head back to TR Hughes for the second game of this best of three divisional series versus the Wild Things. Kyle Brady is expected to go against Scott Dunn in Game 2, which will take place at 7:05 on Wednesday, September 10.