A game of strong pitching and exhilarating extra innings finished with the Beloit Snappers (48-44) on top 3-2 of the West Michigan Whitecaps (47-48) Monday night at Fifth Third Ballpark.
After Ryan Gridley advanced from second to third on a fielding error in the top of the 12th inning, Nick Allen brought him home on a sacrifice fly to take the deciding 3-2 lead.
Seth Martinez locked down the hatches in the 12th inning, striking out two and getting the Whitecaps to go down one-two-three to end the ballgame.
Martinez has been unbelievably reliable as of late. In his last 15.2 innings over an eight game stretch, he has allowed zero runs of any kind, four walks, seven hits and 18 strikeouts, while holding opponents below a .160 batting average.
Neither team scored in the first nine innings. Snappers starter Wyatt Marks had another solid outing, earning his third consecutive quality start. He went six innings and gave up zero runs on just three hits and nine strikeouts.
He was opposed by Dane Myers, who went six innings of five hit ball, zero runs and two strikeouts to go along with two walks.
Skyler Weber lined a double in the top of the 10th on the first pitch he saw to score JaVon Shelby from second and take a 1-0 lead. Lazaro Armenteros followed up with an RBI single to score Weber and suddenly the Snappers went ahead 2-0.
That lead was short lived when with one out in the bottom of the 10th, Reynaldo Rivera hit his eighth homer of the season off Nick Highberger to score Garrett McCain who started on second. Just like that, it was 2-2.
It would be Highberger who followed up his blown save by earning his fourth win of the season, going two innings in the 10th and 11th. He got a scoreless 11th and gave up just one hit overall in both frames, the home run to Rivera.
Jesus Zambrano pitched the final three innings of regulation for Beloit, striking out the side in the ninth and getting in line for the win when the Snappers went up in the 10th.
Sadly, Mickey McDonald's season high nine-game hitting streak came to an end Monday after going 0-for-4. Over his streak, he batted .419 with six RBI, seven runs and two triples.
For the Snappers, it was just their second extra inning road victory of the season and they now sit at 7-5 overall. It was their 11th win in their last 12 games and kept them in first place in the Western division in the second half.
Snappers went 5-1 on the six-game road trip and earned their first three game series sweep of the season against West Michigan after taking two of three against South Bend in the previous road series.
The Snappers will now enjoy their day off Tuesday on the league wide off day before opening a three-game series at home with the Bowling Green Hot Rods. Overall, the Snappers will be home for six games between the Hot Rods and the Dayton Dragons, both Eastern division foes the Snappers have yet to face this season.
Game one against the Hot Rods will be on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Starting on the mound for the Snappers will be right-hander Jean Ruiz (3-6, 5.05).
The Beloit Snappers are a member of the Midwest League and have been the Single-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics since 2013. For more ticket information, contact the Snappers office at (608) 362-2272 or on our website, www.snappersbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.