Bralin Jackson hit a single through the right side to score Andrew Sohn for what turned out to be the game-winning run in Washington’s 7-6 win over the New Jersey Jackles in Frontier League action.
Washington took advantage of 11 walks and got hits in some key spots to win the series opener against the New Jersey Jackals Friday afternoon. The win snaps a three-game skid for Washington and a seven-game road losing streak.
Zach Strecker picked up his eighth save of the year and the 60th of his career, which puts him in second place on the Frontier League career saves leaders list, breaking a tie with former Wild Thing and Frontier League Hall of Famer Jonathan Kountis.
Washington got the scoring started, stealing the first run of the game on a double steal with Grant Heyman going to second and Nick Ward coming home in the first inning. New Jersey got the next three before the Wild Things responded with an important five-run fourth inning, in which Washington scored three runs on bases-loaded walks and two more on a Heyman groundout and a Bralin Jackson sacrifice fly.
The Jackals fought back to make it a one-run game with singular runs in the fifth and sixth innings before both teams scored in the eighth. Nicco Toni delivered his first home run to cut the Washington lead to 7-6 in the bottom of the eighth.
McKenzie Mills got the win, his second of the year, after 5.2 innings of five-run ball. It was the first time Mills received five or more runs of support this year. Ben Vicini got out of a jam after a walk before Jesus Balaguer pitched 1.2 innings and allowed the homer but fanned two. James Meeker had another scoreless outing, throwing one pitch to get Washington out of the eighth inning with the tying run on before Strecker pitched a clean ninth to earn the milestone save.
Tri-City finishes sweep
Tri-City and Washington played through the extras tied at 1-1 in the series finale and second game of the doubleheader Thursday and it took the new Home Run Derby tiebreaker to decide a winner, which was won 2-1 by the Cats to give them the sweep in the game that goes down as a 1-1 final.
Tri-City started the scoring in the second inning by getting a couple baserunners and with those runners at the corners, Oscar Campos continued his hot series with a sac fly to center to plate Willy Garcia, who had reached on a fielder’s choice.
The Wild Things couldn’t get going until the fifth. To that point, they had just two base runners as Nick Ward has singled to start the game and then walked on his second trip to the dish. Hector Roa doubled off the centerfield wall to start the fifth before Cody Erickson hit an infield single that the pitcher Turner Larkins got a piece off but couldn’t field. After two pop ups in the infield and with Ward at the plate against a reliever, a wild pitch brought home the game’s tying run to make it 1-1 as Roa scampered home.
BJ Sabol got a big strikeout of Nelson Molina to end the bottom of the fifth with the tie intact after Steven Colon left the game. He yielded one earned on three hits over 4.2 innings his first pro start and struck out four.
The game went to extras but Trey Cochran-Gill and Alex Boshers worked scoreless extra innings and the game went to a home run derby tiebreaker. Denis Phipps hit one home run and Willy Garcia hit the second for Tri-City to win it after Hector Roa and Grant Heyman came up empty and Bralin Jackson kept Washington alive with one.
The Wild Things suffered being swept for the second time this season.