KINGSPORT, Tenn.- Raphael Gladu's three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday night walked it off for Kingsport as the Mets took down Danville 5-4 to avoid the three-game sweep in the final contest of the series at Hunter Wright Stadium.
Heading into the bottom of the ninth, Kingsport trailed by two runs at 4-2. The Mets (13-19) had runners at the corners with only one out when Galdu towered a home run over the right-center field wall to win the game for the home team.
The walk-off home run was the second of the season for Kingsport and the first since Angel Manzanarez's walk-off dinger over the Johnson City Cardinals on July 15. With the win, Kingsport avoids what could have been its third series-sweep of the year and snapped a four-game losing streak.
It did not take long for the first run of the ballgame to be scored as Danville (17-17) sparked a two-out rally in the top of the first by scoring the first run of the game off a single from Hagen Owenby to right field. The drive brought in William Contreras who doubled just prior as the Braves led early on 1-0 midway through the first.
Kingsport answered right back in the bottom of the frame as Jeremy Vasquez made Braves starter, and No. 16 prospect in Atlanta's organization, Kyle Muller pay for walking consecutive batters with one out. Vasquez's 29th RBI of the season was a bloop-shot that drove in Hansel Moreno easily from second base to tie the game at one run apiece.
The RBI from Vasquez also tied teammate Wagner Lagrange as the Appalachian League-leader for the category.
Like clockwork, the Braves retook the lead in the inning that followed when nick Shumpert grounded in a runner from third base. The runner to cross the plate was Rayshandell Michel who singled two batters earlier. Midway through two innings, Danville led by a score of 2-1.
Both teams scored a run in the fourth inning as the Braves got their third of the day from a solo home run from Leudys Baez who led off the frame. The Mets answered in the bottom of the frame with an RBI double from Anthny Dirocie that was driven to the left-center field wall.
After four innings, the score remained in favor of the Braves at 3-2.
Two innings later in the sixth, Baez did it again with another leadoff home run to right field. The two bombs were his third and fourth home runs of the season with the latter handing Danville another two-run lead midway through six innings.
The game then went scoreless for the next three innings until the bottom of the ninth when the table was set for Gladu. Prior to the three-run, walk off home run, Dionis Pulino singled and Angel Manzanarez reached on a fielding error to put runners at the corners with only one out.
Gladu then stepped in and sent a 1-0 fastball over the right-center field fence to end the game. The home run was the second for the left fielder on the season and the second walk off home run of the year for the Mets.
Gladu was the obvious hero on the night by saving his only hit of the day for the bottom of the ninth inning. No K-Met tallied a multiple-hit game during the win as the team only manged seven hits on the night compared to Danville's 12.
Baez slugged two homers for the Braves during the loss while Hagen Owenby tallied a three-hit day. Jesus Herdia (1-2) took home the loss while surrendering the three ninth inning runs, two earned, during 1.1 inning of relief. Stephen Villines (2-1) picked up the win following a scoreless night.
Both starters did not counter into the decision as Kingsport's Jose Geraldo tossed six innings of four-run baseball off of 10 hits while Danville's Muller pitched five innings, surrendering two runs and five hits.
The Mets will be back in action Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m. for the first game of a double header against the Burlington Royals. Game 1 of the double header is a makeup of a game that was postponed earlier in the season on June 23 in Burlington. The day will consist of two seven-inning affairs while coverage of the entire day can be found on the Kingsport Mets Baseball Network.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.