O’FALLON, MO–The River City Rascals turned in a miraculous comeback on Wednesday night at CarShield Field, overcoming a 4-0 deficit to beat the Traverse City Beach Bums 5-4 on a walk-off hit-by-pitch in the 11th inning. The team was held scoreless until the eighth inning, then scored two runs each in the eighth and ninth to force extra innings.
After Donald Glover Jr. led off the game with a single, the Beach Bums got the scoring started on an RBI double by Will Kangor, followed up by an RBI fielder’s choice groundout from Alexis Rivera later in the first. They tacked on two more with a two-run shot from Kenny Peoples-Walls in the top of the eighth, putting the score at 4-0.
Beach Bums starter Reinaldo Lopez was masterful through seven innings, allowing just one hit. However, in the bottom of the eighth inning, Bums left fielder Alexis Rivera lost a fly ball off the bat of the Rascals’ Connor Oliver in the lights, allowing Oliver to make it to third on a leadoff stand-up triple. JD Hearn singled him home, and later game in to score on Stephen Kerr’s RBI single to cut the lead to 4-2.
With the Rascals down two, Clint Freeman led off the bottom of the ninth with a solo homer over the scoreboard in right field, and Gerrion Grim later singled and came in to score the game-tying run on a wild pitch.
In the 10th, the Rascals had two runners thrown out at home plate, and the game would go to the 11th inning. With a runner starting the inning at second base (Frontier League rules from the 11th inning onward), Rascals reliever Cody Mincey (1-1) retired the side in order, setting up the Rascals to win the game. After Mike Jurgella took third base on a wild pitch, the Beach Bums elected to intentionally walk both Grim and Oliver to face Hearn with the bases loaded and one out. Bums reliever Kurt Goodman (0-1) fell behind 3-0 to Hearn, and eventually hit him with a pitch to send the winning run across the plate.
The Rascals (2-2) look for the sweep over the Beach Bums (2-3) tomorrow night in the series finale, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 pm CT. Hector Hernandez is expected to make his season debut on the mound.