Knotted up at 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth, the BayBears used three singles to cap off a 5-4 division-clinching victory over the Chattanooga Lookouts.
A.J. Pollock blooped a single to right, putting the winning run on for the BayBears (79-51, 41-19) to start the bottom of the ninth. Daryle Ward followed with a shot to right that pushed Pollock to third with no outs. Ryan Wheeler struck out against Scott Rice (4-4), but Rice stayed in to face Ed Easley, who chopped a ball to the back of the mound that Rice mishandled, allowing Pollock to score the division-winner.
"I saw the ball hit off the plate and wanted to run as fast as I could toward the plate," narrated Pollock. "This is such an awesome feeling to be able to celebrate with your teammates on this kind of accomplishment."
It didn't come easy for the BayBears, as Mike DeMark (3-2) coughed up a solo home run to Scott Van Slyke in the top of the ninth, tying the game at 4-4. Van Slyke also homered in the eighth against Bryan Woodall to draw Chattanooga (71-59, 36-24) within one.
"He's a tough out, and he picked out the first pitch and drilled it," said DeMark, whose streak of 13 consecutive saves came to a close. "I knew that we'd be able to come back in the bottom of the ninth. I never had any doubts."
Patrick Corbin started for the BayBears and was in line for his 10th win as he left with his team up, 4-2. The BayBears broke a 2-2 lock on Corbin's behalf in the bottom of the sixth. Ollie Linton poked a base hit to score Jake Elmore before crossing the dish on Marc Krauss' pinch-hit double.
"That was so sweet to be able to do it at home and in dramatic fashion," said BayBears skipper Turner Ward. "I'm so proud of the way we've fought all season long and especially tonight."
The BayBears still have 10 regular season contests to go before the playoffs begin on Thursday, September 8 in Birmingham against the first-half champion Barons.
- Adam Eaton threw Corey Smith out at the plate in the 8th to preserve a 1-run lead
- Daryle Ward went 4-for-5 with two doubles, but also committed two errors
- The BayBears stole four bases in the game, two of which were thieved by Linton
Discuss this story on the FutureBacks.com subscriber-only message boards.