Gwinnett grinds: the Stripers win 8-7 over the Louisville Bats in a 10 inning affair
Pre-game: Louisville Bats (17-31) vs Gwinnett Stripers (25-24)
On the first day of June, we're making a trip back to Coolray Field, the home of the Gwinnett Stripers (the AAA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves). With summer almost in full swing, about 1/3 of the season is completed.
At 25-24 (and 8.5 games out of first place), the team enters tonight's tilt against the Louisville Bats (17-31), the AAA affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, with a focus on building on the team performance over their last 10 games (6-4). Huascar Ynoa (1-2, 5.64 ERA) looks to get things on track on the mound. The starting lineup featuring Drew Waters (.288 batting average), Travis Demeritte (.283 batting average), Preston Tucker (.285 batting average with 17 runs batted in), Phil Gosselin (.297 batting average with 5 homeruns and 19 RBI's), and Chadwick Tromp (.273 batting average with 9 homeruns and 25 RBI's) look to jumpstart the team's offense.
Louisville looks to inch out of the cellar and turn around their performance over their last 10 games (3-7). Starter Randy Wynne (1-6, 5.00 ERA) takes the mound for the Bats. On offense, Jose Barrero (who is batting .233 on his rehab assignment), Max Schrock (who is batting .333 on his rehab assignment), Cristian Santana (.333 batting average with 3 homeruns and 21 RBI's), Ronnie Dawson (.255 batting average with 4 homeruns and 15 RBI's), and Lorenzo Cedrola (.261 batting average with 13 RBI's) look to get the team's offense going.
Prior to tonight's 7:05pm first pitch, veteran player Delino DeShields, Jr. takes time to speak with us. His tremendous insight on the game and beyond leaves a plethora of "nuggets" for players and fans alike:
Game highlights and recap: the Gwinnett Stripers (26-24) defeat the Louisville Bats (17-32) 8-7 in 10 innings
In the bottom of the first inning, Braden Shewmake's rocket over the right field wall (his 3rd homerun of the season) gives Gwinnett an early 1-0 lead over Louisville and a fast start on the Bats' starter, Randy Wynne. In the bottom of the second inning, Alex Dickerson would hit a homerun (his 4th of the year) in the same part of the ballpark to give the Stripers a 2-0 lead.
Jose Barrero's RBI double off Stripers' starter Huascar Ynoa in the top of the 3rd inning would get the Bats on the scoreboard (making it a 2-1 game), but a timely cutoff throw leads to him getting thrown out at 3rd base trying to extend the play.
In he bottom of the 6th inning, Preston Tucker's solo shot (his 3rd homerun of the season) off Bats' reliver Pedro Payano would land in right field as the Stripers would expand their lead to 3-1.
However, Louisville's "bats" would wake up in the top of the 7th inning off Gwinnett reliver Nolan Kingham; RBI's by Lorenzo Cedrola and Matt Schrock tie the game at 3, setting up for some late inning theatrics.
Going into the top of the 8th inning, the Bats would take the lead thanks to a RBI base hit by Ronnie Dawson and a sacrifice fly by Sandy Leon, giving them a 5-3 lead over the Stripers and chasing reliver Thomas Burrows.
Gwinnett would mount a rally in the bottom of the 8th. Walks to Travis Demeritte and Preston Tucker along with a pair of wild pitches (Delino DeShields, Jr. would come in to pinch-run for Tucker) gives the Stripers runners on 2nd and 3rd bases. Another walk to Phil Gosselin gives them a bases loaded opportunity.
Alex Dickerson would draw a bases loaded walk to cut the deficit to 5-4, forcing reliver Jared Solomon out of the game.
Hernan Perez's chopper over Louisville 3rd baseman Taylor Motter (a late inning replacement for Matt Schrock) off reliver Fernando Cruz drives in 2 runs, allowing Gwinnett to retake the lead (6-5).
In the top of the 9th inning, the Bats battle back as Taylor Motter launches a drive to deep left center field (his 6th homerun of the season) off Stripers' reliever Victor Vodnik, tying the game at 6.
And the late inning theatrics would transform to an extra inning ballgame.
An RBI single by Sandy Leon would give the Bats a 7-6 lead in the top of the 10th inning.
The Stripers would start a rally thanks to an infield single by Travis Demeritte, putting runners on 1st and 3rd base (for extra innings, teams start with a runner at 2nd base). Phil Gosselin's double into left field would clear the bases and give Gwinnett a dramatic 8-7 win in 10 innings.
The Stripers' offense is paced by Gosselin (3 for 4 with 2 RBI's), Hernan Perez (2 for 4 with 2 RBI's), and Alex Dickerson (1 for 3 with a homerun and 2 RBI's) along with the solo homeruns by Alex Dickerson and Braden Shewmake. Michael Tonkin (1 inning pitched, allowing 1 run and a hit along with 2 strikeouts) gets the win, but Huascar Ynoa has a solid effort (5 innings pitched, allowing 1 run on 2 hits with 7 strikeouts and 4 walks) in his start.
The Bats' Lorenzo Cedrola (2 for 5 with 1 RBI), Sandy Leon (1 for 3 with 2 RBI's), and Ronnie Dawson (2 for 5 with 1 RBI) lead the offense. Starter Randy Wynne strikes out 4 without a walk, but only lasts 4.2 innings (and gives up 2 runs on 5 hits). Dauri Moreta is tagged with a blown save and a loss.
The teams resume the remainder of their 5 games series June 2nd (7:05pm start), June 3rd (7:05pm), June 4th (6:05pm), and June 5th (1:05pm) at Coolray Field.
Notes: Video is recorded by Andrew Snorton. Photos are recorded by Andrew Snorton and EmoryRose Photography.
Video recaps: The first video is our interview with Delino DeShields, Jr. and the second is a compilation of in-game action.
Photo grid 1 (Andrew Snorton): The top row (left to right) includes young fans of the game, a snapshot with Delino DeShields, Jr. (after his pregame interview), and related pregame festivities. The second row (left to right) includes Gwinnett's Braden Shewmake and Ryan Goins pausing during the National Anthem, the Bats' Jose Barrero (on a rehab assignment as he works to rejoin the Cincinnati Reds), and Gwinnett's Phil Gosselin (who would end up with the game winning hit in extra innings).
Photo grid 2 (EmoryRose Photography): The top row (left to right) features Stripers' starter Huascar Ynoa, Travis Demeritte greeting Braden Shewmake after he hits a solo homerun, and Phil Gosselin making a play at 3rd base. The second row (left to right) includes the Stripers' Phil Gosselin greeting Preston Tucker after his solo homerun, the Bats' Ronnie Dawson at the plate, and the Bats' Cristian Santana taking a mighty swing at the plate. The bottom row (left to right) includes Gwinnett's Alex Dickerson at the plate, catcher Chadwick Tromp (Stripers) getting ready to set the tone for the pitching staff, and the Stripers keeping the team's spirits up after scoring a run.
For the complete box score, click HERE.