JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - LHP Jacob Schlesener carried a no-hitter through six innings - striking out a career-high 13 - but Princeton battled back to tie it in the ninth and went on to win it in the 12th, as the Rays edged out the Johnson City Cardinals, 7-5, in front of 2,431 fans at TVA Credit Union Ballpark on Saturday night.
With the loss, the Redbirds drop back below the .500 mark at 21-22 on the season. Princeton's victory snapped their 10-game losing streak and improved their overall record to 16-27.
Tied a five in the top of the 12th, Princeton utilized the long ball to take the lead for good. Following a one-out base-hit by DH Ronaldo Hernandez (1-5, 2 R, BB, 2 SO), 1B Devin Davis (1-5, R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, 3 SO) hammered a towering fly to left for a home run. The two-run shot - his eighth of the season - put the P-Rays ahead, 7-5.
Johnson City rallied in the bottom of the frame, bringing the winning run to the plate, but could not even the tide.
The Rays were able to tie the game against the Redbirds in the top of the ninth. With two outs and two on, LF Bryce Brown (2-6, RBI, 2 SO) banged a single up the middle. Hernandez scored from second with the tying run, evening the game up at four apiece.
That prevented Schlesener (6.0 IP, R, 2 BB, 13 SO) from earning the victory after his magical evening on the mound. The 20-year-old struck out eight-of-the-first-nine batters of the game en route to setting a career-mark with 13 punch outs. The southpaw also failed to yield a base-hit, allowing one run to score on a walk, an error and a ground out in the sixth.
Princeton broke up the no-hit bid with two outs in the seventh inning on a single to left field by Gomez off RHP Juan Alvarez (1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, SO).
Both teams traded runs in the 11th. The Rays grabbed the lead in the top of the frame on a RBI ground out by 3B Seaver Whalen (1-4, R, RBI, BB, SO), but Johnson City responded in the bottom half with a run-scoring knock to left-center by 1B Luis Bandes (2-5, R, HR, 2 RBI, BB).
The Redbirds led by as many as three in their gut-wrenching defeat. Johnson City scored in the first on a double play ground ball off the bat of CF Wadye Ynfante (1-6, 2 SO) and again in the second on a long solo home run to left by Bandes, his sixth of the season.
In the sixth, the Cardinals scored twice, as both 3B Brady Whalen (0-5, R, BB) and SS Delvin Perez (1-5, R, BB, SO) came across on an error that came off the bat of DH Imeldo Diaz (1-5, RBI, SO). The 19-year-old garnered one RBI on the play despite the defensive miscue.
RHP Kyle Goodbrand (3.0 IP, 4 H, R, ER, 5 SO) struck out five and earned his third victory of the season in relief for the Rays. Johnson City's RHP Will Changarotty (3.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB, 5 SO) gave up runs in the 11th and 12th innings, taking his first defeat of the campaign.
Princeton's starter - LHP Luis Moncada (4.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB) received a no-decision after allowing two runs in 4.2 frames.
LF Chase Pinder (5-6, R, BB, SO) led the charge for the Cardinals' offense, accruing a career-high five hits and reaching base six times on Saturday. All five of the seventh-round selection's hits were singles.
RF Carlos Talavera (2-6, 2 SO) and Bandes (2-5, R, HR, 2 RBI, BB) also added multi-hit games for the Redbirds in defeat.
Johnson City will look to bounce back on Sunday, as they welcome to the Kingsport Mets, the rookie affiliate of the New York Mets, to town. The Cardinals are expected to send RHP Zach Prendergast (1-0, 5.40 ERA) to the mound in the series opener. Kingsport is projected to counter with RHP Christian James (1-2, 3.15 ERA).
The Cardinals Pre-Game Show will kick off the broadcast at 5:45 p.m. ET, leading up to the 6:00 p.m. ET start at TVA Credit Union Ballpark. Sunday evening's contest can be heard on NBCSportsTriCities.com, JCCardinals.com or via the TuneIn Radio and MiLB First Pitch apps.
It will be a Shop Local Sunday, as several local vendors will be out at the stadium to give Cardinals' fans a taste of what Johnson City has to offer.
Single-game tickets are still available and can be purchased online at JCCardinals.com or by calling the Cardinals' Ticket Office at (423) 461-4866.
ABOUT THE JOHNSON CITY CARDINALS
The Johnson City Cardinals are the Rookie affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Members of the ten-team Appalachian League, Cardinals baseball has been entertaining families and fans of America's national pastime in the East Tennessee region for 80 years. To learn more about the Johnson City Cardinals, visit www.jccardinals.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.