Quinn Stewart blasted his 12th home run of the year in the bottom of the 9th to propel the Columbus Catfish to an 11-8 win over the Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees) tonight.
The blast off the old hot tub stand beyond right field came with 2 outs and runners on second and third.
Charleston had jumped out to a 6-0 lead after the top of the 3rd inning, chasing Catfish starter Wade Townsend, who allowed the 6 earned runs on 5 hits, including 2 home runs in 3 innings work.
The Catfish, in turn, knocked Charleston starter Ivan Nova, who hasn't won a game in 4 weeks, from the mound in the bottom of the 3rd.
Joey Callender got things started with a single. That was followed with a single by Jairo De La Rosa. Desmond Jennings then singled to left, scoring Callender. John Matulia singled, scoring De La Rosa. A double steal put Jennings on third and Matulia on second. That's when Cesar Suarez hit his 7th homer of the season, cutting Charleston's lead to 6-5. Nevin Ashley, who had lots of family in attendance, reached on a single, but was erased when he was caught stealing second in a call that brought out Catfish manager Jim Morrison face to face with field umpire Jimmy Volpi. With 2 outs, Quinn Stewart walked, then moved to third on 2 wild pitches. Seth Dhaenens walked, then stole second. On the throw to second, Stewart took off towards the place and beat the throw, getting his 13th stolen base and tying the game at 6.
In the 5th, the Catfish took the lead. Ryan Royster walked and with 1 out, stole second. With 2 outs, he scored on a single by Callender, putting the Catfish up 7-6.
The 6th inning saw Matulia reach on a 1-out single, then move to third when Suarez singled to right. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Ashley, and the Catfish led 8-6.
The 7th inning saw Ryan Owen come on in relief of Matt Falk, who had taken over in the 4th. Charleston tied the game on a 2-out single by 1B Chase Odenreider.
The game remained tied at 8 going into the bottom of the 9th. With 1 out, Suarez singled on a line drive to right field, Ashley walked, but was erased when Royster reached on a fielder's choice. Royster advanced to second on what I understand should have been a stolen base ( see Rule 10.07 (g) comment), but was ruled a fielder's choice (commonly called defensive indifference). Anyway, that's when Stewart homered over the right field wall, ending the game.
The win keeps the Catfish in 1st place in the Southern Division of the South Atlantic League, 1/2 game ahead of Augusta, who kept pace with their win tonight.
The win also gives the Catfish the series, 2 games to 1. They head to Rome Saturday to open a 3-game series with the Braves.