Wilmington, which struggled to a 4-for-51 showing with men in scoring position in its four losses on the journey, was 3-for-18 on Sunday before Piterson sent a single to center against reliever Jeremiah Bayer (1-3). The run was unearned, as Beltre reached on an infield hit, but took second on an errant throw to first by Bayer. Two outs later, Piterson's third hit of the night gave the Rocks the lead to stay.
En route to their dramatic finish, the Blue Rocks' pitching staff blew a pair of three-run leads. Starter Andy Ferguson allowed just one run over his 6.2 innings, striking out seven. But reliever Chase Boruff left with two in and one on in the eighth after Sean Coyle's sacrifice fly made it a one-run game. Nick Rogers followed by allowing three straight men to reach, including an unexpected game-tying double by Carson Blair. Blair was in a 4-for-47 funk since the All-Star break before handing Rogers his second blown save.
After walking Shannon Wilkerson, Rogers (3-3) left the bases loaded by striking out Heiker Meneses, who lost his hitting streak at 10 games in the process. The closer got the win after he faced the minimum in the ninth and 10th thanks to a pair of double plays. That included a 1-6-3 DP off Coyle's bat in the final frame.
After a scheduled day of rest on Monday, Wilmington resumes play at home with the first of three against Winston-Salem on Tuesday. After his first career nine-inning complete game, right-hander Elisaul Pimentel (3-1, 3.13) gets the ball for Wilmington against Dash righty Erik Johnson (1-2, 2.95) at 7:05 p.m. Broadcast coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. as studio host Rob Cunningham brings fans the Rocks Report Pre-game Show, presented by Wawa, on 89.7 WGLS-FM and online at wgls.rowan.edu.
PEBBLES OF KNOWLEDGE:
Geulin Beltre extended his career-best hitting streak to 11 games. He went 3-for-4 with an RBI, a run scored and a sacrifice. With hits in 13 of his last 14, he has connected at a .440 rate (22-for-50) with nine RBIs over that time. His average is up 36 points (.206-.242) to its zenith since he went 1-for-4 in his first game of 2012.
Beltre has tied Whit Merrifield's 11-gamer from April 22-May 2 for the best hit streak by a Blue Rock this season.
Luis Piterson went 3-for-4 with his clutch RBI and scored a run. He has hit safely in six of his last seven games, going 12-for-26 (.462) to raise his contact clip 53 points (.241-.294). It marks his best average since he was at .333 on April 11.
Matt Fields blasted his team-leading 14th homer to begin the seventh inning.
Paced by a pair of thefts from Beltre and Orlando Calixte, the Rocks stole a season-best six bags in seven tries. Wilmington had not taken that many bases in a single game since swiping eight at Frederick on Aug. 19, 2009.
Nick Rogers has two blown saves on the season. Both times, it involved allowing hand-me-down men from Chase Boruff to cross against the Salem Red Sox.
The Blue Rocks went 4-for-20 with men in scoring position on the night. That effort matched the combined total of those hits in their four losses on the road trip (4-for-51).
No Carolina League team has played more one-run games than Wilmington. The Blue Rocks improved to 17-22 in single-score affairs.
The game was delayed by 30 minutes due to rain. While the sun splashed down at first pitch, the last several innings were played with a steady rain falling.