JUPITER, Fla. - Josh Adams' walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the tenth inning lifted Jupiter over Clearwater 3-2 Wednesday night at Roger Dean Stadium.
Tied 1-1 after nine innings, the Hammerheads and Threshers played extra innings for the second straight night. Clearwater's Aaron Altherr reached on a fielding error by Adams to lead off the tenth. He later scored on a throwing error by the catcher Austin Barnes, trying to pickoff Altherr at third base.
Trailing 2-1, Austin Nola reached on a throwing error by the pitcher to leadoff the bottom half. A Ross Wilson sacrifice bunt moved Nola to third, who was then thrown out at home on a fielder's choice off the bat of Brent Keys.
With two outs and Keys at first, Adams redeemed himself-and made up for Barnes' error-crushing a two-run homer over the left field fence off of RHP Ryan O'Sullivan to give the Hammerheads their first win in their last four games.
Adams' walk-off homer was set up after the Hammerheads spoiled a golden opportunity to win it in the bottom of the ninth. With runners at first and second and one out, Clearwater's RHP Severino Gonzalez got Isaac Galloway to line out to second and Ryan Rieger to fly out to center to end the threat.
The thrilling finish overshadowed a solid effort from Florida State League All-Star LHP Justin Nicolino, who tossed a season-high 6.2 innings of one-run ball, yielding five hits and striking out two. He threw 53 of 79 pitches for strikes (67 percent).
After allowing back-to-back singles to start the top of the sixth, Nicolino induced a ground ball double-play off the bat of Altherr. RHP Pete Andrelczyk was then called upon to strand the runner on third. He did so by coaxing a pop out from Jose Mojica. Andrelczyk then retired six of the seven batters he faced in the scoreless eighth and ninth innings to preserve the tie.
Since starting the season 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA through two starts, Nicolino is 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA in 10 starts (53.3 innings) since.
Clearwater's LHP Hoby Milner pitched a gem himself, allowing just one earned run on five hits and no walks in seven innings, striking out six.
Jupiter's trio of Major League rehab players-Donovan Solano, Giancarlo Stanton and Joe Mahoney-combined to go 1-for-10, with Solano's single to left field in the third accounting for the lone hit.
Stanton went 0-for-3 for the second straight game. He struck out, flied out to right field and grounded out to second base.
Solano and Stanton were taken out of the game in the seventh. Soon-to-be walk-off hero Josh Adams replaced Solano at third base, while Ryan McIntyre-who collected a hit in his lone at-bat-subbed in for Stanton in right field.
Barnes went 3-for-4 for Jupiter, extending his hitting streak to five games. He's hitting .526 (10-for-19) during that stretch, and now leads all qualified batters on the team with a .313 batting average.
The Hammerheads will look to salvage a split of this four-game set with the Threshers Thursday night in the series finale. RHP Josh Hodges (1-1, 2.64 ERA) will start for Jupiter and will be opposed by LHP John Lannan on Major League rehab assignment.
For more information on the Jupiter Hammerheads, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Miami Marlins, please call (561) 775-1818 or visit JupiterHammerheads.com. For tickets and more information about Roger Dean Stadium, visit RogerDeanStadium.com