It took 10 inning and 3-1/2 hours, but the Columbus Catfish came away with an 11-9 win over the Rome Braves tonight.
C Tony Harper's 2-run shot with one out in the bottom of the 10th gave the Catfish the win.
Harper led Catfish hitters with three hits. RF Sergio Pedroza had two hits, including a solo homer in the 5th inning, his 20th four-bagger of the season, tops in the South Atlantic League. Pedroza's other hit was a two-run single in the sixth inning. 2B Travis Denker also had two RBIs for the Catfish. Those came on his first-inning single with two out.
The Catfish jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning on two walks, two singles (including Denker's two-run hit), and a sacrifice fly by 1B Jason Mooneyham.
After Pedroza's RBI single in the 3rd inning, the Catfish found themselves down 7-4 after 4-1/2 innings thanks to three Rome home runs and some timely hitting. Three unearned runs, plus an earned run, in the bottom of the sixth gave the Catfish the lead that lasted only until the next inning when Rome tied it up on CF Jordan Schafer's two-run double.
The two teams stayed knotted at nine, with Catfish relievers Marlon Arias and Joey Norrito keeping Rome scoreless. Their performance was not only matched but exceeded by Rome pitcher Adam Stanley's 3-1/3 hitless innings of relief. The only hit Stanley gave up was Harper's two-run shot that ended the game.
Norrito picked up the win in his first appearance for the Catfish. He joined the team this morning after being promoted from the Pioneer League Ogden Raptors.
The win keeps the Catfish five games behind division-leading Augusta, and moved them up to fourth place.
While Harper's walk-off homer had to be the highlight of the night, the worst thing this evening was the spiders. There are spiders living in the netting over the seats behind home plate. The netting is there for safety's sake, I assume. But I don't like spiders. And I certainly don't like them dropping down on me when a foul ball disturbs them.
I'm really going to hate it when the eggs hatch.