Wilmington Blue Rocks End Homestand With a Walk-Off Victory

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Jordy Barley swings at a pitch. Barley would record the RBI to win the game for the Blue Rocks on Sunday afternoon. Sunday, July 3, 2022. - Staff Photographer / Ashley Craven

The Wilmington Blue Rocks (39-34) kicked off the Fourth of July holiday weekend with some fireworks. After falling into an early 2-0 hole, the Blue Rocks clawed their way back into their game on Sunday, July 3, and pulled off a thrilling 4-3 walk-off victory in the tenth inning against their division rival the Jersey Shore BlueClaws (27-47). 

The BlueClaws’ first run of the game came on a double steal and a throwing error in the first inning by catcher Israel Pineda which brought in right fielder Ethan Wilson easily. 

Their second one came off an RBI double by third baseman Freylin Minyety that scored designated hitter Rixon Wingrove to put the Claws up 2-0 with the Blue Rocks having no offensive rhythm going.

Both teams went silent offensively in a very fast-moving game until the fifth inning when the Blue Rocks started their comeback.

Center fielder Ricardo Mendez started the inning off with a single, followed up with another single by right fielder Kevin Strohschein which advanced Mendez to third. Mendez then scored on a balk by BlueClaws pitcher Ben Brown to cut the Claws’ lead down to one. 

Later in the inning, second baseman Cole Daily stepped to the plate with two runners on base and only one out. Daily had been 0-2 on the day so far with two strikeouts but roped a two-RBI double into the gap in right field to give the Blue Rocks a 3-2 lead. 

“He got me the at-bat before so I had seen a couple of his pitches,” Daily said. “We had runners on, we had a little bit of momentum and I just got a fastball and put a good swing on it… I was pretty frustrated with myself and knew I needed to do something to get back into a positive and get things rolling.”

This would not be the end for the BlueClaws though, after the Rocks got four scoreless innings from Lucas Knowles, reliever Malvin Pena came in and lost the lead on a game-tying, solo homerun off the bat of Wingrove.

The Blue Rocks would end up getting the last laugh though as unsung hero Jordy Barley roped a line drive RBI single into right field to score Mendez in the bottom of the tenth to walk it off for the Rocks with a final score of 4-3. 

“I was focused and tried to pull the ball in the gap and was looking for a pitch middle up,” Barley said. “During the game, my mind is always in the game… I try to go and compete every at-bat and my guys always have me and support me.” 

The Rocks will carry their momentum down south with them as they travel to North Carolina to take on the Winston-Salem Dash on Monday, July 4 at 6:30 p.m. 

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