Greensboro, NC - Greensboro Grasshoppers second baseman Blake Barber hit a walk off three-run home run in the bottom of the 12th inning to top the Delmarva Shorebirds (5-3) 9-6 at NewBridge Bank Park on Thursday night.
The Shorebirds jumped to an early lead in the second inning. With two outs, Joel Hutter dropped a bunt single. Steel Russell followed with a single to center field to advance Hutter to third. Then, Adrian Marin grounded a single through the left side of the infield to give the 'Birds a 1-0 lead.
Greensboro responded with four runs to grab a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the second. Matt Juengel led off with a single to third. Then, a walk to Cody Keefer and a hit by pitch loaded the bases. Then, Cameron Flynn hit an RBI single. Anthony Gomez followed with a two-run double down the left field line to give the Grasshoppers a 3-1 lead. Flynn later scored on a wild pitch.
The Shorebirds cut into the deficit in the third. Tucker Nathans hit a one out double to right-center field. Then, Creede Simpson blasted a 3-0 pitch over the left field wall to trim the gap to 4-3.
Greensboro stretched the lead to 5-3 in the bottom of third. Yordy Cabrera led off with a single. Then, Juengel doubled to put runners at second and third. Cody Keefer followed with a sacrifice fly to center.
The Shorebirds again answered in the fifth to tie the game. George Barber, who replaced Lucas Herbst in the second, led off with a single. Two batters later, Simpson walked. Then, Nik Balog hit a RBI single to trim the deficit to 5-4. Then, Boss grounded to second and the ball went through the legs of Blake Barber, allowing Simpson to score.
The Shorebirds took the lead in the top of the ninth inning. Simpson led off with a line drive single to right field. Boss and Hutter drew back-to-back walks. Steel Russell hit a sacrifice fly RBI to left field to give the Shorebirds a 6-5 lead.
In the bottom of the ninth, Greensboro tied the game at 6-6. Ashur Tolliver got the first out and then was replaced with a runner at first by Dennis Torries. After a strikeout of Anthony Gomez, Jesus Solorzano singled to advance pinch hitter Yeison Hernandez to second. With two outs, Rosa singled into center to tie the game.
In the 12th inning, Juengel led off with a single against reliever Casey Upperman. Two batters later, Jose Behar singled. Then, Blake Barber lifted a three-run home run to left-center field to give Greensboro a 9-6 walk off win.
Greensboro reliever Chipper Smith earned the win over two scoreless innings.
Shorebirds reliever Ashur Toliver went 2.2 innings and allowed one hit and one run. Shorebirds starter Parker Bridwell went 5.2 innings and yielded eight hits and five runs.
The Shorebirds and Grasshoppers play game two of the series on Friday, June 28 at 7:05pm.