Ottawa, ON – The Ottawa Titans (25-11) trailed on three separate occasions on Sunday but managed to walk off the New York Boulders with an 8-7 victory in ten innings.
The visiting Boulders got out to an early 3-0 through four off Titans lefty Evan Grills (ND, 2-2), racking up seven hits in the process. A second-inning RBI single from Chris Kwitzer got the Boulders on the board before Austin Dennis scored Jake MacKenzie in the third on a groundout. Francisco Del Valle scored the third run on an E6 in the fourth, as the Titans found themselves in an early hole.
With only one hit through three, AJ Wright snapped an 0-for-15 by drilling a Josh Loeschorn (ND, 0-1) delivery into the gap in right-centre for a one-out triple. Jake Sanford got the Titans within three with an RBI groundout, plating Wright.
The Titans’ offence rallied in the bottom of the fifth, getting two-aboard with one-out for Jason Dicochea, who clobbered a Loeschorn offering over the wall in left for the three-run homer. Dicochea’s second homer of the season put the Titans in front at 4-3.
Grills settled in following a slow start on the mound and retired 15 of the last 18 he faced but took the no-decision in his sixth start of the season. The lefty went seven strong, allowing three runs (one earned) on eight hits, walking none, and striking out eight.
Dicochea drove in his fourth run of the afternoon with a double to left-centre, scoring Will Zimmerman from first to make it a 5-3 game.
Gavin Sonnier came out of the bullpen for the Titans in the eighth and only needed two pitches to record the first two outs. Following back-to-back singles, Del Valle tied the game at five with a two-run double.
In a tie game headed to the ninth, the Boulders went to the bench for Max Smith to face right-hander Nelson Gonzalez. Smith blasted a lead-off solo homer, giving the Boulders the lead.
Down to their last out in the bottom of the ninth, Zach Schneider (loss, 0-2) plunked Dicochea and Jackie Urbaez, putting the tying and winning run aboard for Rodrigo Orozco. The Panamanian lined an opposite-field single to left, scoring Dicochea to tie the game at six.
With the International Tie-Breaker rule in play, the Titans went to lefty Kevin Escorcia (win, 1-0) who struck out Giovanni Garbella to lead off the frame. After the runner Dennis stole third, the Titans brought the infield in with Gian Martellini at the dish. Escorcia got Martellini to pop one up to shallow centre, but Jacob Talamante was unable to make the catch, allowing the go-ahead run to score.
After Escorcia got the final two outs, it was the Titans’ turn to pull off the victory. As AJ Wright started the frame at second, Sanford tied the game with an RBI single up the middle. As Schneider got Tyrus Greene to roll into a double play, the bases were empty with two away for Taylor Wright, who got on with a single up the middle.
With one on and two out, Brendon Dadson singled up the middle, sending Taylor Wright first-to-third standing up. On the play, centre-fielder David Vinsky misplayed the ball, allowing Wright to come all the way home to score the winning run.
The walk-off E8 marks the Titans’ eleventh series victory of the season, keeping pace for first place in the East Division.
After an off-day on Monday, the Ottawa Titans open an eight-game road trip with the first of three against the New Jersey Jackals on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. from Yogi Berra Stadium in Little Falls, New Jersey.
For information on Ottawa Titans’ 2022 season tickets, group outings, and 8-game mini packs, visit the Titans’ official website at www.ottawatitans.com.