(September 16, 2022 – York, Pa.): Connor Lien raced home with the winning run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth as the York Revolution kicked off the final weekend of the 2022 season with a 4-3 walk-off win over the High Point Rockers on Friday night in front of 4,234 fans at PeoplesBank Park.
The game was scoreless into the fifth as York starter Sam Burton was excellent in his second outing.
Burton retired three straight batters after a leadoff double by Michael Russell on the game’s first pitch and followed a similar blueprint in the second when the Rockers greeted him with back-to-back singles to create a threat, as Burton went on to strike out the next three.
High Point starter Craig Stem was also in a good groove early, needing just six pitches in the first inning and matching Burton with zeroes until the fifth.
Troy Stokes Jr. led off the home fifth with a single to left and Yefri Perez followed with an infield single. Stokes Jr. scored the game’s first run when Josue Herrera nailed a line drive to left field that sailed past Giovanny Alfonzo who appeared to lose sight of the ball in the lights. Herrera was denied what would have been his 50th RBI of the season as the sharply hit ball was ruled an error despite Alfonzo dropping to the ground in attempt to make the catch, but the Revs led 1-0. After Lien reached on an infield hit, JC Encarnacion made it 2-0 on a sac fly to right for his 60th RBI of the year.
Burton retired 13 of 15 before a pair of one-out singles prompted his departure in the sixth. Reliever Kyle Zurak was greeted by Tyler Ladendorf who drove a ground-rule double to left center to get High Point on the board at 2-1, but Zurak struck out J.R. DiSarcina and retired Mike Gulino on a soft grounder with shortstop Elmer Reyes making a slick charging play to strand two in scoring position and keep the Revs in front.
Franklin Van Gurp retired Jerry Downs on a 4-6-3 double play ball in a scoreless top of the seventh.
York added an insurance run in the home half of the seventh as Lien doubled to left with one out, moved to third on an Encarnacion single to left, and scored on a sac fly by Lenin Rodriguez on a liner to left, increasing the lead to 3-1.
Roniel Raudes handled a scoreless eighth, but the Rockers drew even in the ninth as Michael Martinez celebrated his 40th birthday with a game-tying two-run double to right center, denying Revs closer Jim Fuller of his 20th save.
With the game tied 3-3, York responded as Lien worked a leadoff walk from High Point righty Junior Rincon and stole second to reach scoring position with no outs. After a ground out for the first out, Rincon walked Rodriguez on which Lien advanced to third on a passed ball that eluded Gulino. With Melky Mesa, holding a share of a Revs franchise record with four career walk-off hits at the plate, it was a wild pitch spiked by Rincon (2-2) that brought Lien home with the winning run and the Revs’ sixth walk-off victory of the season.
York will go for the series win on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. as Eduardo Rivera squares off against Neil Uskali on the mound. The night includes Fireworks presented by AAA Southern Pennsylvania, Halfway to Saint Paddy’s Day, and the Stronger Than Cancer Series by WellSpan (Breast Cancer). Tickets are on sale at YorkRevolution.com, (717) 801-HITS, and in-person at the Shipley Energy Ticket Office.