ROUND ROCK, Texas - Sean Halton, Jeremy Hermida, and Hunter Morris each homered to power the Nashville Sounds to a 13-6 victory over the Round Rock Express in their season finale on Monday afternoon at The Dell Diamond.
Nashville (77-67), which gained a split of the season-ending six-game series against Round Rock, finished the year with the 23rd winning campaign in the franchise's 37-year history. The Sounds spent 100 of the 152 days of the 2014 PCL season in first place.
The 13 runs scored were one shy of the Sounds' season-best effort. Hermida belted a grand slam to key a seven-run, eighth inning and Halton went 3-for-5 with a game-tying two-run shot earlier in the contest to pace the Nashville offense.
Round Rock grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a pair of doubles against Jay Jackson. Luis Sardinas (3-for-4) blooped a one-out double to shallow center and scored two batters later on Bryan Petersen's two-bagger off the base of the center field wall.
The Express doubled their lead to 2-0 in the third when Sardinas singled with two outs, stole second, and scored on a Drew Robinson RBI knock to right.
Halton (3-for-5) leveled the contest at 2-2 in the top of the fourth when he slugged his eighth home run of the year, a two-run shot to left off Express starter Jimmy Reyes. Hermida, who preceded Halton by legging out his 20th double of the year, also scored on the blast.
Halton finished the season on a tear, recording a hit in 21 of his final 28 games at a .327 clip (33-for-101). Round Rock loaded the bases against Jackson with two outs in the fifth but failed to score as the Nashville right-hander retired Petersen on an inning-ending flyout to keep it a tied game.
Nashville took its first lead in the sixth with a run against Express reliever Martire Garcia. After loading the bases with one out on a pair of walks sandwiched around a Halton single, Eugenio Velez scooted home from third with the go-ahead run on a wild pitch to give the visitors a 3-2 advantage.
After Hunter Morris walked to reload the bases, Irving Falu ripped an RBI infield single to third and Caleb Gindl followed with a sacrifice fly to center to up the lead to 5-2.
Jackson held the Express to two runs on seven hits over five innings of work and departed in line for his first victory with the Sounds, but the right-hander was left with a no-decision following a late Round Rock rally.
Round Rock designated hitter Cory Patton cut the Sounds' lead to one at 5-4 in the home half of the sixth with a two-out, two-run homer to center off Dustin Molleken, his first longball at the Triple-A level.
Petersen (2-for-4) powered the Express back into the lead an inning later, when he smashed a go-ahead, two-run homer to center off Molleken to give the home team a 6-5 advantage. It was the outfielder's 13th roundtripper of the season.
The Sounds took control of the game with a seven-run outburst against Ryan Feierabend in the eighth, sending 10 batters to the plate during the frame.
Halton led off with a double and Nashville loaded the bases when Hector Gomez drew a walk and Falu singled before Gindl was hit by a pitch to force home the tying run. Lucas May lifted a sacrifice fly to left to give the Sounds a 7-6 lead and Pete Orr plated an insurance run with an RBI single to left, which helped the veteran finish the season with a .301 average.
After Velez reached on an error to refill the bases, Hermida smashed a grand slam to right to make it a 12-6 Nashville lead. The big fly was his 16th of the year, tying Matt Clark for the team lead, and the Sounds' second slam of the season.
Morris closed out the afternoon's scoring in the ninth when he tattooed a one-out solo homer to right-center, his 11th tater of the year.
Baseball returns to Music City in April 2015 when the Sounds begin their 38th season of competition at the brand-new First Tennessee Park in North Nashville. Season tickets are available by calling 615-690-HITS or visiting the Greer Stadium box office.