On paper it seemed the game was going to be a pitcher’s duel, as the Emeralds sent to the mound Colin Rea, a right-handed pitcher out of Indiana State, who held batters to a .204 clip over 95.1 innings of work.
The Hawks countered with Willengton Cruz, a left-handed pitcher from the Dominican Republic, who went 4-0 with a 1.90 ERA last season in the Dominican Summer League.
The paper was not that far off by any means. Rea’s line wasn’t all bad, as he threw four innings, gave up two runs and struck out four while walking one. Rea also posted a 37-to-21, strike-to-walk ratio. The only mark on Rea’s game was a rough third inning. Cruz on the other hand was brilliant as he dealt four innings, gave up zero runs and struck out seven for the Hawks. He also posted a 45-to-26 strike-to-walk ratio.
Then the Bullpens came into game with the Hawks leading 2-0.
Santo Rodriguez came into relieve Cruz and the Emeralds threatened in the bottom of the fifth. After a Michael Gallic walk and stolen base, Donavan Tate would come through with a base hit of his own. With one out and runners on the corners, Tate stole second to take away the double play. It proved to be a huge play as Jace Peterson laced a ball over the second baseman to tie the ball game at two apiece.
Manager Pat Murphy talked about how huge Tate’s stolen base was, “That is the thing we talk about. Everybody wants to get the big hit, but it is the little things that go on that’s part of winning baseball that you do that leads to a big inning. That was winning baseball right there.”
The rally would not end there. Cory Spangenberg was hit by a pitch and a Daniel Garce ground out would move runners to second and third. Lee Orr came up huge with a triple that would give the Emeralds a 4-2 lead.
The Hawks weren’t done either. They got within one after a homerun in the sixth. Then in the seventh, the Hawks scored on balk from pitcher Simon Berroa to tie the game at 4-4.
The resilient Emeralds came back in the bottom of the seventh. With runners on first and second and two outs Matt Colantonio hit a routine pop up to center field, but Pin-Chieh Chen never saw the ball and it fell in for two more runs.
“I was just trying to put the ball hard in play and score the runner from second. It just happened to be a nice play for us,” Colantonio said.
The wackiness continued after a hit by pitch and a base hit. The Emeralds scored again on a wild pitch to make the score 7-4. Then Tate comes through with a base hit to score two more and put the Emeralds up 9-4.
Finally, closer Kevin Quackenbush came in to end the madness in the ninth.
Tate lead the way going 3-for-5 with two RBI. Three Emerald’s posted multi-hit games and four Emerald’s had two RBI apiece. Berroa got his first win of the season while Hector Mayora picked up his first loss.
“We got out there and had a good win today and it was a big win for our team so it felt good,” Tate said.
The game had one triple, one homerun, two stolen bases, four wild pitches, two hit batters, two balks, three errors, nine pitchers, 13 runs, 21 strikeouts, and 22 hits.