(Story Credit: Rio Grande Valley Media Relations)
HARLINGEN- Five Fort Worth hits in the top of the 10th inning ended a Rio Grande Valley comeback attempt and allowed the Cats to beat the WhiteWings, 8-7, at Harlingen Field Friday night.
With the score tied 6-6, Julio Santana (0-2) allowed five straight Cats hits, including Jose Ruiz’s double to plate Shelby Ford and Kenny Gilbert’s single to right to drive in Brandon Jones to give Fort Worth an 8-6 lead.
The WhiteWings would rally in the bottom of the 10th when Leivi Ventura doubled off Jeff Jamnik to lead off the inning. After Ventura scored on two pass balls as Jamnik struck out Salvador Paniagua, Romulo Ruiz collected his fourth hit of the day and Mario Mercedes singled off umpire Hector Esparaza to put runners at first and second.
But Luis Sumoza lined out to centerfielder Randall Thorpe, who after a diving catch was able to double Ruiz off second base for the game’s final out.
With his 14th save, Jeff Jamnik remains perfect in save opportunities this season.
Fort Worth initially led 5-0 when C.J. Beatty hit a grand slam home run to the opposite field in left off spot starter Clint Bowker in the third inning and Scott Dalrymple singled in Jones an inning later.
The two Cats hitters would finish the game going five-for ten with six RBIs.
Rio Grande Valley then rallied for three runs in the bottom of the fifth off James Giulietti, who allowed three runs in six innings. After Beatty drove in his fifth run of the game with a two-out triple off Eddie Dennis Jr. in the sixth, the WhiteWings then rallied for two runs off Kan Holbrooks in the seventh inning on run scoring singles from Ruddy Yan and Leugim Barroso and tied the game in the eighth off eventual winning pitcher T.J. Bozeman (2-1) when Ventura was hit by a pitch, stole second, went to third on an errant throw from catcher Dalrymple, and then scored on a wild pitch.
The WhiteWings loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the ninth on an error by third baseman Jones and two walks, but Bozeman was able to strike out Fidel Hernandez to send the game to extra innings.
The two teams are now tied for second place in the North American Baseball League’s United Division with 34-26 records. They meet for the second game of their four game series tonight at 7:05 p.m., with Cats ace Blake Nation (6-2) pitching against Cole Stephens (5-2).
Official Box Score: http://www.pointstreak.com/baseball/boxscoretext.html?gameid=100927