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Kinston Walks-Off as P-Nats Tripped Up

Ninth inning single gives K-Tribe 3-2 victory
May 20, 2009
KINSTON, NC- After two duels on the mound in the first two games of the series between the K-Tribe and the P-Nats, another duel was on the docket as Carolina League ERA leader Brad Meyers took the hill looking for his fourth win of the season against Tribe hurler Paolo Espino who took a minusucle 0.90 ERA into the ballgame against the Nationals.

However, neither starter factored into the decision as the P-Nats would rally late to tie the game only to see the K-Tribe respond in the ninth with a walk-off single to give the home team a 3-2 victory to end their eight-game losing streak.

The pitchers did not disappoint in the contest as Meyers lasted five innings, only allowing four hits and one earned run to keep his ERA at a still-sparkling 1.85, but his counterpart came as advertised as well. Espino tossed six scoreless stanzas, giving up just two P-Nat hits while striking out a season-high seven to lower his ERA to 0.56 in his time with the Kinston Indians.

The K-Tribe came into the game on an eight-game losing streak, including two one-run losses at the hands of the Nationals in this series, a 1-0 defeat on Monday and a 4-3 loss in Tuesday's tilt. In their recent skid, the Indians had lost five of six games by one run and another by two tallies in an extra-innning affair. It was a lineup scuffling since their hottest hitter, Matt McBride, got the promotion to Double-A Akron on May 12.

In Wednesday's affair, the K-Tribe's offensive struggles still continued, but Espino's brilliance on the mound overshadowed any shortcomings emanating from the home dugout. In the second inning, Matt Brown roped a one-out double then advanced to third on a soft single by Ronald Rivas. When right-fielder Michael Burgess had the ball pop out of his glove, Brown scampered home with the game's first run.

In the fourth, the Tribe took advantage of some uncharacteristic wildness from Meyers. First baseman Nate Recknagel, recalled Wednesday from low-A Lake County, lined a double off the wall in left. Meyers, who came into the game with only six walks in 34 innings pitched in 2009, then went on to walk three consecutive batters to walk in the second run of the game to make it 2-0 in favor of the Tribe.

The P-Nats once again struggled with runners in scoring position getting men on base in both the third and fourth innings, but failed to push a run across. Potomac came into the game hitting just .208 with runners on scoring position and two outs, but they notched a hit they desperately needed last night as Chris Marrero played the role of hero, blasting a two-out grand slam to give the P-Nats a 4-3 victory.

Marrero once again put the team on his back in the eighth inning Wednesday night, lining a two-strike, two-out pitch from lefty Heath Taylor to center to bring Boomer Whiting and Danny Espinosa home with the tying runs, making it a 2-2 ballgame.

The K-Tribe, however, would not go down without a fight. With a raucous home crowd starving for a victory after eight consecutive losses, speedster Lucas Montero was hit by a Martin Beno pitch leading off the bottom of the ninth inning. Beno (0-2) had worked two scoreless frames in the ballgame before heading back to the hill in the ninth. Alex Castillo sacrificed Montero to second and Ryan Blair bounced a single through the right side of the infield to bring Montero home with the winning run as the K-Tribe finally exorcised their losing demons, taking game three from the P-Nats 3-2.

Reliever Dallas Cawiezell (1-0) tossed a scoreless ninth to get the win for the K-Tribe. An interesting sidenote, all three games in this series have been decided by one run.

These two teams will square off once again in the finale of this four-game set Thursday evening in Kinston with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 ET. You can catch all the action live on with Dan McGinn and Anthony Masterson starting with the pregame show at 6:45 ET.

For more information on tickets, daily promotions, and all things P-Nats, call (703) 590-2311 or log onto to join the party!