Kinston saves last at-bat for comeback
Published in Sports on July 23, 2004 1:55 PM
KINSTON --They needed all nine innings, but the Kinston Indians scratched out a pair of runs in their final at-bat and took a hard-earned 3-2 win against Frederick before 1,984 fans at historic Grainger Stadium Thursday night.
The Indians, winners in 11 of their previous 13 contests, improved to 15-10 in the second half and moved a season-high 26 games over .500 at 60-34 overall.
Frederick dropped to 11-15 and 31-64.
It was a pitcher's duel throughout, as both Kinston's Derrick van Dusen and Frederick's Hayden Penn were outstanding.
The Indians struck first on Pat Osborn's solo home run in the bottom of the second, but the Keys answered on Cory Keylor's RBI double in the top of the fourth. Those were the only runs allowed by the starting pitchers.
After the Tribe stranded runners on the corners in the seventh, Frederick struck for the go-ahead run in the eighth. Branden Florence led off and drove the first pitch he saw from Danny Eisentrager over the wall in left-center for his ninth home run of the year and a 2-1 Keys advantage. Tripper Johnson then walked on four pitches but was picked off first base by Eisentrager. Keylor singled, but Kinston's Eider Torres turned an unassisted double play when he caught Doug Gredvig's liner and tagged Keylor, who was running on the play.
So needing a run to keep playing and two to go home, Kinston wasted no time in the bottom of the ninth.
Jonathan van Every led off for the Tribe and hammered a 2-2 pitch from Tony Neal high over the right-center field wall, tying the game at 2-2. It was van Every's 12th home run of the year, tops among active Indians. Rodney Choy Foo followed, and Frederick's decision to play the outfield deep backfired. Instead of a fly ball going over an outfielder's head, Choy Foo's jam-shot dropped in front of a sliding Keylor and Choy Foo was able to hustle all the way to second with a double.
J.J. Sherrill struck out when he bunted a two-strike pitch foul, but Torres picked him up with the game-winning double to right center to end the game in style.
Eisentrager (5-3) earned the win, working the final three innings and allowing just a run on three hits. He walked two and struck out one. Van Dusen allowed just one run on four hits over six innings. He walked four and struck out four.
Neal (2-5) endured the loss, surrendering two runs and three hits in two-thirds of an inning. He walked one and struck out two. Penn allowed only one run on two hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out a season-high nine batters. Offensively, Osborn went 2-3 with his sixth home run.
The Indians open a three-game series with Potomac today Friday at 7 p.m. It is Carl Long Night at the ballpark sponsored by the Hampton Inn, and will feature a post-game fireworks show courtesy of Sale Auto Mall.
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