Chris Matlock began the ninth by walking Nate Freiman. With Freiman on second, Matlock got Ems’ catcher Jason Hagerty to strikeout. Center fielder Jason Codiroli followed Hagerty’s strikeout with a double off of the right field wall that advanced Freiman to third. Matlock struck out left fielder Matt Vern for the second out of the inning, before walking shortstop Chris Tremblay to load the bases with two outs. Matlock ended the game by walking home the winning run after walking Bo Davis.
“Tough night,” Davis said. “Keep trying to battle and get a run across. [It was a] tough game, [the] pitcher was doing a great job, just got to keep battling till the end like we did.”
Despite their 11 hits, the Ems couldn’t get a timely hit until Codiroli’s double to right-center field in the ninth inning, which advanced the eventual game winning run to third base.
“We’re just looking for a big hit,” said Codiroli, who went 2-for-4 with a single and a double. “Once we get that big hit, things will fall into play.”
After a strong start to the 2009 season, Codiroli came into Thursday night’s game batting just .194, so in adherence to a family superstition, he burnt his batting gloves prior to the game.
“I’ve been in a slump lately, and I was talking to my dad, my dad played pro ball, and he told me about when he was in a 0-for-38 slump, he did that and got some knocks, so I figured I’d give it a try, and you know, I guess it worked out a little bit,” Codiroli said.
The Ems left the bases loaded three different innings.
“That’s just the way it goes sometimes,” Codiroli said. “Sometimes you’re going to get the job done, sometimes your not.”
The Ems got another terrific performance from starting pitcher Nick Greenwood, who pitched six innings, giving up just two hits and allowing one run, while striking out six and not giving up a single walk.
“I was able to command the fastball and the changeup,” said Greenwood, who has given up just two earned runs all year. “I mean, I threw a lot of changeups tonight. Coming into the game we heard that they were a free swinging team, so to be able to get them off balance really helped me work out.”
“We had 11 hits, so the offensive support was there,” Greenwood said. “We got to get the big hit in the right spot. I’m just trying to go out there, throw zeroes, and give my team a chance to win.”
“He’s been doing a great job,” Davis said. “[The] pitch count is getting up, so he’s getting to go a little bit deeper in the games, and he did a great job.”
Davis understands that for the Ems to win, they need to back up solid performances on the mound, with better performances at the plate.
“Starting pitchers have been doing a great job,” Davis said. “We just need to get a couple more runs for the early and maybe win some more games.”