(July 29, 2022 – Gastonia, NC): Jhon Nunez gave the York Revolution new life with a dramatic game-tying homer on the first pitch in the top of the ninth inning, but the Revs dropped their series opener to the Gastonia Honey Hunters on a run in the bottom of the ninth, 3-2 on Friday night at CaroMont Health Park.
It was a tightly played contest throughout as Revs starter Austin Nicely turned in a terrific eight innings in a no-decision.
Gastonia drew first blood as Zach Jarrett connected on a homer to left-center in the bottom of the second for the game’s first run.
The Revs were shut down by spot starter Randall Delgado in the early going, held without a hit while striking out six times through the first three innings.
Telvin Nash greeted reliever Henry Martinez with an opposite field homer to right-center leading off the top of the fourth, tying the game at 1-1. It was Nash’s fifth in 11 games since returning and the 99th of his Revolution career.
Nicely worked around a threat in the bottom of the fourth as a pair of walks and a sacrifice bunt by Luis Roman put runners at second and third with one out. Nicely struck out Luis Castro and retired Jaylen Smith on a grounder to third with Carlos Franco making a slick stab on the backhand and completing the long throw to first just in time, preserving the 1-1 tie.
York also had runners at second and third with only one out in the next half inning as Nunez led off with a single and Yefri Perez lined a one-out double to left, extending his hitting streak to nine games. Martinez struck out the next two batters, however, striking out the side in the inning and fanning five total in two innings to keep it deadlocked.
York threatened in the eighth as Nellie Rodriguez roped a one-out double to left and Melky Mesa reached on an infield single, but Gastonia reliever Euclides Leyer induced a pair of ground outs to escape unscathed as the Revs stranded 10 runners on the night.
Nicely had faced the minimum on a 12-batter stretch before Stuart Levy led off the home eighth with a base hit to left. After advancing on a ground out, Levy scored the go-ahead run on Jack Reinheimer’s two-out RBI single to left, giving the Honey Hunters a 2-1 lead.
The lead was short lived as Nunez (3-for-3) greeted reliever Sam Bordner with a first pitch homer to right in the top of the ninth, tying the game at 2-2 in stunning fashion on his second home run in as many games.
Gastonia had the last laugh with a run in the bottom of the ninth. Joseph Rosa drew a leadoff walk from reliever Carlos Ventura and went to third on a throwing error by second baseman Jack Kenley on an attempted force play at second. Ventura struck out Roman for the first out, but a passed ball during the next at-bat brought home Rosa with the winning run as the Revs were dealt their eighth walk-off defeat of the season.
Nicely allowed just two runs on six hits in the no-decision, working eight innings for the first time since August 21, 2021 vs. Gastonia. He picked off a pair of runners and struck out five in a second straight gem that resulted in a no-decision.
Strikeouts plagued the Revs offense as York’s 17 strikeouts came within one of a franchise record for a nine-inning game, set during the 2019 season.
The Revs will look to even the series on Saturday at 6:15 p.m. with Eduardo Rivera (5-3, 4.73) facing John Anderson (8-4, 4.11). Revs fans can catch the action live on SportsRadio 98.9 FM & 1350 WOYK, 989woyk.com, The New WOYK app, and the WOYK YouTube channel beginning at 5:55 p.m. with Darrell Henry on the call.