LAWRENCEVILLE, GA. - In one of the most thrilling games of the 2012 season so far, the Gwinnett Braves pulled off yet another last at-bat comeback win against Norfolk, 4-3 on Monday night at Coolray Field. J.C. Boscan's RBI single tied the score in the bottom of the 12th, and Drew Sutton's RBI double claimed the victory for the first place G-Braves.
The G-Braves entered the bottom of the 12th trailing 3-2, but scored twice against Tides' right-hander Willie Eyre (L, 0-2) to earn their third last at-bat victory of the season. Right-hander Adam Russell (W, 2-0) got the win in relief despite allowing a go-ahead sacrifice fly to Steve Tolleson in the top of the 12th.
Shortstop Greg Paiml singled to lead off the bottom of the 12th inning for Gwinnett. Paiml then stole second base and advanced to third on a throwing error by Tides' catcher John Hester. The next batter, Boscan, laced a single up the middle past the drawn-in infield to score Paiml and tie the game, 3-3. The G-Braves weren't done yet, as Jose Constanza was intentionally walked to set the table for Sutton. The G-Braves' third baseman ripped a ball into right-center field for the game-winning RBI double, his lone hit of the night.
Norfolk grabbed their first lead, 3-2, of the night in the top half of the 12th inning when Hester led off the inning with a double and crossed the plate on Tolleson's sacrifice fly to right field. The Tides had nearly scored the go-ahead run the previous inning as Joe Mahoney singled to center and Josh Bell came around third, but Gwinnett center fielder Luis Durango came up firing and threw out Bell at the plate.
Gwinnett jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, scoring twice in the bottom of the second. Joey Terdoslavich led off the inning with a single, his first of three hits on the evening, then came around to score on a Boscan's RBI double down the left field line. Paiml crossed the plate two batters later on a two-out RBI single by Constanza.
The Tides would answer right back the very next frame with one run of their own. Chris Robinson singled to start the third inning and eventually scored on a double play to cut the Gwinnett lead to 2-1. Norfolk would strike for the tying run in the sixth inning as Tolleson drew a walk from right-hander Erik Cordier and scored on Jamie Hoffman's sacrifice fly to left.
Cordier did not factor in the decision despite pitching well in his third start of the year. The G-Braves' right-hander allowed two runs on five hits over 5.0 innings, walking five while striking out four. Right-handers Jaye Chapman, Jason Rice and Cory Gearrin turned in 2.0 scoreless innings each, before Russell came on for the win.
Norfolk starter Brad Bergesen yielded two runs on seven hits over just 2.1 innings, but right-hander Miguel Gonzalez picked him up with 3.2 scoreless, hitless innings including six strikeouts. Tides relievers Jon Link and Pat Neshek combined on 4.0 scoreless frames.
The Gwinnett Braves (8-4) continue the series with the Norfolk Tides (5-7) on Tuesday night at Coolray Field, first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM. Right-hander Julio Teheran (1-0, 4.05) is scheduled to start for Gwinnett, while Norfolk counters with right-hander Chris Tillman (1-1, 3.60). Listen to the game on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.
Tuesday night is a "2 For 1 Tuesday" at Coolray Field featuring a 2-for-1 deal with valid coupon. Visit gwinnettbraves.com/Tuesday for more information. Tickets for all Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale at the Coolray Field Box Office and by calling (678) 277-0340.