DANVILLE, Va,- In a game that set a season high in game time and innings played, the Danville Braves came up just short against the Princeton Rays, losing 5-4 in 14 innings Sunday night. Danville extended the game once in the 10th inning but in the 14th, they could not bring the tying run in from second base.
Both Danville starter Bruce Zimmermann and Princeton hurler Reily O'Brien began the game with three hitless innings. Princeton would score first, however, when Ronaldo Hernandez delivered a one-out solo home run off of Jacob Belinda. The Braves would take the lead in the 5th on a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch. Now down 2-1, the Rays struck quickly one inning later on a two-run single by Trey Hair. But Danville scratched a run across in the bottom of the 6th to tie the game at 3-3.
That score would carry into the 10th, when Princeton looked to put the game away when a run scored on a throwing error by Derian Cruz. But in the bottom of the inning, Jean Carlos Encarnacion would launch a solo home run to once again tie the game, this time at four runs apiece.
Danville tried to put the game away in the 13th inning when William Contreras drove a ball deep to right which would have scored Cruz, but the Rays' rightfielder Moises Gomez made a sensational leaping catch at the fence.
In the 14th, a Devin Davis double with two outs scored Zach Rutherford and the Braves (28-29) would once again be forced into a do-or-die situation in the bottom of the inning.
With the first two hitters retired and two strikes on the batter, Hagen Owenby, the Braves' offense finally began to stir. Owenby was hit by a pitch and Encarnacion singled up the middle with Justin Smith coming to bat. But with a full count, Smith struck out, handing the Braves a tough loss in the longest game Danville has played this season at four hours and sixteen minutes.
Danville's Huascar Ynoa gets the ball for the Braves tomorrow, still in search of his first win in 2017. The Braves and Rays play the second game of their series at 7:00 tomorrow evening on Dollar Monday. It's also Unused Ticket Night, where fans can bring unused tickets from the 2017 season and exchange them for a ticket of equal or lesser value for tomorrow's game. For tickets and promotional information, call 434-797-3792 or go online to dbraves.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.