You could write a book about the final three innings of Saturday night’s game at Cheney Stadium, but with a day game today after the long game last night we only have time to hit some highlights.
Tacoma trailed Reno by a score of 6-2 when we went to the bottom of the ninth inning. The Rainiers had only two hits in the game, and none since the second inning. We were three outs away from a very forgettable loss.
Reno closer Jimmy Sherfy – a PCL All-Star having a tremendous season – walked the leadoff man in the ninth. How many rallies start that way?
An out and another walk later, Mike Marjama pulled a Sherfy fastball out to left field for a three-run homer, and suddenly it was 6-5. The Rainiers were up to three hits on the night.
Dario Pizzano dumped a single into left field, and that was it for Sherfy. Veteran Louis Coleman came in from the bullpen.
Ian Miller greeted Coleman with a single up the middle, sending pinch runner Zach Shank all the way to third. Miller promptly stole second base, and the Rainiers had the tying and winning runners in scoring position.
Shawn O’Malley tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Shank to make it 6-6, but the Rainiers could not get Miller home and we were going to extra innings.
Reno then scored three runs in the top of the tenth, all coming with two outs after an error had extended the inning. Evan Marzilli‘s two-run single was the big hit in the rally, and Tacoma was trailing 9-6.
Once again it felt like a Reno victory as we headed to the bottom of the tenth.
But Dan Vogelbach drew a leadoff walk against Coleman, and it was rally time again. Mitch Haniger followed with an opposite field two-run homers, and it was 9-8.
Reno brought in J.J. Hoover from the bullpen, and he recorded the first out of the inning. Next up was Danny Muno, and he worked a full count before driving an opposite field solo homer to left field, tying the game 9-9. The low line drive just barely cleared the fence in left, Muno’s eighth homer of the season.
Marjama ripped the very next pitch to deep right-center for a triple, and now the Rainiers had the winning runner at third base with one out. But they couldn’t get him in, as Hoover wiggled out of the jam. On to the 11th inning.
Pat Light set down the side in order in the top of the 11th, and the Rainiers rallied in the bottom of the inning against Reno reliever Rubby De La Rosa.
O’Malley started it with a single to center, bringing up Taylor Motter. Looking to move O’Malley into scoring position, Motter did so the painful way: he was smoked in the ribs by a fastball, putting runners at first and second.
Vogelbach was next up, and Reno played the shift with three infielders on the right side, opening up the left side. Vogelbach worked his usual full count before hitting a ground ball through the open left side of the infield and into left-center for the game winning single, and the Rainiers had their most improbable win of 2017.
Yesterday: Dan Vogelbach ended a wild game with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning to give Tacoma a 10-9 win over Reno on Saturday night. Tacoma has won the first two games of the series.
Roster Moves: Yesterday the Mariners called up pitcher Christian Bergman, and optioned Andrew Moore to Tacoma. Mitch Haniger joined the Rainiers on a rehabilitation assignment.
Today: Reno (68-52) at Tacoma (60-60), 1:35
Opponent Affiliation: Arizona Diamondbacks.
Season Series: Reno leads, 8-5.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Jake Buchanan (4-0, 4.89) at RHP Bryan Evans (-).
Evans is coming up from Double-A Arkansas to make his Rainiers debut.
Hot Rainiers: Ian Miller, Gordon Beckham, and Shawn O’Malley each have five-game hitting streaks… Danny Muno has homered in back-to-back contests… Mike Marjama has eight RBI over his first five games with Tacoma.
Look Out For: Christian Walker has hit six home runs during an 11-game hitting streak, and he is now tied for the PCL lead with 30 homers on the year… Zach Borenstein had back-to-back two-homer games on Wednesday and Thursday, and he is 11-for-18 with four homers and 12 RBI in the last four games… Ildemaro Vargas has gone 19-for-42 during a nine-game hitting streak.
Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 1:20 on South Sound Sports 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here. It’s a Sunday home game, so Bob Robertson joins me in the broadcast booth.
PCL Scoreboard: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.
- The Mariners retired Edgar Martinez‘s No. 11 prior to yesterday’s game. Ryan Divish has the story on the ceremony.
- Edgar’s Hall of Fame case isn’t even a debate, Matt Calkins writes.
- Seattle then blew another late lead and lost to the Angels, 6-3. Three takeaways from the game.
- There are plenty of pitchers available on the market for the Mariners to pursue.
PCL Game Reports:
- Fresno swept a doubleheader at Albuquerque and moved a game ahead of Reno in the Pac-North standings, even though the Isotopes signed former MVP Ryan Howard.
- Salt Lake stunned Sacramento when Shane Robinson hit a three-run homer on an 0-2 pitch with two outs in the ninth inning. The Bees won, 3-1.
- El Paso scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to take down Las Vegas, 4-3. Franchy Cordero had the winning hit.
- Luke Weaver earned his tenth win and Memphis can clinch the American-South division title with a win today after beating Nashville last night, 6-1.
- Omaha took down Iowa, 5-2, as Frank Schwindel continued his long stretch of hot hitting.
- New Orleans hung on for an 11-10 win at Colorado Springs.
- Round Rock at Oklahoma City got rained out.