SALISBURY, MD - Down to his team's final strike, Zach Jarrett bashed a walk-off two-run home run to left, lifting the Delmarva Shorebirds past the Kannapolis Intimidators 4-3 on a most dramatic Thursday afternoon at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
With the Shorebirds (14-7) trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth, T.J. Nichting laced a one-out single into center. After a strikeout, Jarrett came up to face Intimidators (13-8) reliever Jake Elliott. After fouling off one 0-2 pitch, Jarrett attacked an offspeed offering and cranked it deep to left. Craig Dedelow could only leap to watch it land, and Jarrett rounded the bases to the tune of 3,936 screaming fans, most of them schoolchildren who left with freshly gleaming visions of their new baseball hero.
Video: Jarrett bashes walkoff HR
Jarrett finished his day 3-for-4 with his league-leading seventh homer, two runs, and two RBIs. He also reached on a hit-by-pitch and made a tumbling catch in left to save a hit in the sixth inning. Nichting scored the other two Shorebird runs.
Alex Katz (2-0) picked up the win in relief after giving up an unearned run on two hits in 1.2 innings. Elliott (0-1) took the loss after surrendering the Jarrett blast, the first runs he had allowed all season.
Delmarva once again jumped out in front in the first. Nichting led off with a walk, and Jarrett singled two batters later. After a Seamus Curran walk, Trevor Craport fisted one through the right side, plating Nichting and moving everybody up a base. Ryan Ripken then hit a grounder to the same spot and legged out a fielder's choice, scoring Jarrett to make it 2-0.
After three innings on the ropes, Kannapolis got to Shorebird starter Matthias Dietz in the fourth. Justin Yurchak worked a one-out walk, then Dedlow cracked an RBI double and advanced to third on an error. Even Skoug lifted a sac fly to center two batters later, drawing things even at 2-2.
The Intimidators went in front for the first time in the top of the eighth. Katz surrendered a one-out walk to Yurchak, then Dedelow belted another double to put men on second and third. With Tate Blackman up, Katz's pitch got through Ben Breazeale's legs, and Yurchack scored the go-ahead run on the passed ball. Katz got through the rest of the eighth and ninth without incident, setting up Jarrett's heroics in the home half of the ninth.
Dedelow paced the Intimidators at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two doubles, a run, and an RBI. Carlos Perez also had a pair of two-sackers.
Dietz recovered from a shaky fourth to finish off a good start. He allowed two runs on three hits while walking three and striking out a career-high eight.
Kade McClure took a no-decision in his start for Kannapolis, allowing two runs on five hits in 4.2 frames.
The win salvages a split of the four-game series for the Shorebirds, who jumped back into sole possession of first place in the SAL Northern Division.
The Shorebirds now head south to Hickory for a quick three-game visit with the Crawdads beginning on Friday night. Brenan Hanifee (1-1, 3.32) gets the start for Delmarva against a Hickory starter to be determined. First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m., and pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 6:45 with Will DeBoer on the call.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.