Norfolk Tides walk off Charlotte in extras, 7-6
With the score knotted at 6-6 in the 10th, Christopher Bostick opened up the inning with a sacrifice bunt off of Vidal Nuno (1-1) that moved designated runner Jack Reinheimer to third base. Ruiz followed with a line drive single – his third single of the night – to easily plate Reinheimer and give the Tides the win in the opener of the three-game set.
Ruiz, who was playing in his first game in a Norfolk uniform, drove in three in the win – Norfolk’s first walk-off victory since June 1st. The 25-year-old infielder has appeared in 89 games with Baltimore this season, batting .238 with five home runs and 27 RBI.
The Tides had led the contest 5-2 entering the seventh, but Durham rallied against Norfolk reliever Sean Gilmartin to take the lead. Kevin Padlo belted a one-out solo home run – his second of the contest – to pull the Bulls within two runs, and Dalton Kelly later connected on a three-run blast to right-center field that gave Durham a 6-5 advantage.
Norfolk knotted the score at 6-6 in the last of the ninth, as Austin Wynns worked a bases loaded walk off of Hoby Milner to force in Ryan Mountcastle. Milner escaped further damage, however, as he retired Ademar Rifaela and Reinheimer with the bases loaded to send the game to extra innings.
Making his Harbor Park debut and his second start at the Triple-A level, Bruce Zimmermann took a tough-luck no-decision after allowing two runs on four hits over six innings of work. Zimmermann walked three and struck out six, giving him 108 strikeouts between Norfolk and Bowie this season. That total ranks the 24-year-old southpaw third among Orioles minor leaguers behind Bowie’s Michael Baumann (116) and Frederck’s DL Hall (111).
Mountcastle and Mason Williams each had two hits in the win, while Reinheimer added a single, walk and three runs scored. Mountcastle has now hit safely in 16 of his last 17 contests, while Williams has hit safely in 16 straight home games.
The two teams will continue their three-game set on Saturday night at Harbor Park, with first pitch slated for 7:05. LHP Luis Ysla (3-6, 6.80) gets the start for Norfolk and is set to be opposed by right-hander Aaron Slegers (4-5, 6.11).
Saturday is Star Wars Night at Harbor Park, as costumed characters from the Star Wars universe will interact with fans throughout the ballgame. There will also be postgame fireworks presented by Wawa.