A five-run eighth inning gave the IronPigs (32-15) a 9-4 comeback win over the Louisville Bats (16-30) in -front of 9,227 fans Friday night at Coca-Cola Park.
Taylor Featherston drilled a three-run home run to put the IronPigs on top 7-4 in the bottom of the eighth inning. After Rhys Hoskins led off the frame with a walk that was followed by a Jorge Alfaro base hit to right field. Featherston then launched his second home run of the season, a 367 foot missle to left field that gave the Pigs their 7-4 lead. The Pigs added another pair of runs later in the inning, after Cameron Perkins reached on a fielding error, Hector Gomez launched a two-run shot to left to extend the Pigs lead to 9-4.
Pedro Beato then came on in a non-save situation in the top of the ninth and retired the side in order to preserve the Pigs 9-4 win.
The Bats jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning as Brandon Dixon sent a sacrifice fly to right field scoring Tony Renda to give Louisville the early advantage.
After falling behind early, the Pigs rallied for two runs in the fourth to take a 2-1 lead. Back-to-back singles from J.P. Crawford and the rehabbing Howie Kendrick followed by a Rhys Hoskins walk to load the bases set the stage for Alfaro. Alfaro then bounced to Bats first baseman Sebastian Elizalde whose fielding error allowed all hands to be safe and the Pigs tied the game at one. Nick Williams then extended his hitting streak to nine games with an RBI single to left, scoring Kendrick to give the Pigs a 2-1 lead after four.
Pigs starter Tom Eshelman then settled into a grove as he retired his next 13 batters before giving up three straight hits in the top of the sixth inning as the Bats stormed back to take the lead. After lead off single by the pitcher Jackson Stephens, Jesse Winker sent a two-run double to left scoring Stephens and Ervin to give the Bats a 3-2 advantage. Tony Renda then capped off the Bats rally with an RBI double to left that scored Winker to give the Bats a 4-2 lead.
Alfaro and the Pigs answered back in the bottom half of the frame as Alfaro sent a one-out single to center to give the Pigs a rally starter. The next batter Nick Williams hit his third game tying home run during his nine game hitting streak with a two-run blast to dead center field to tie the game at 4. The home run was Williams sixth of the season and has homered in four of his last six games played.
Pigs reliever Pat Venditte continued his hot start to the 2017 season as he tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings and helped get Eshelman out of trouble when he took over in the seventh inning as the switch-pitcher stranded the Bats potential go-ahead run at third.
The Omaha native picked up his fifth win of the season and gave way to closer Pedro Beato in the ninth.
With the win the Pigs have now tied for the most wins (20) in a month in franchise-history. The Pigs last won 20 games in a single month in June of last season.
Game two of the four-game set with the Bats is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Saturday night at Coca-Cola Park. The Pigs will send right-hander Ben Lively (5-1, 2.79) and the Bats will send left-hander Ismael Guillon (0-0, 5.40).
The 2017 Season is the IronPigs 10th Anniversary season at Coca-Cola Park and 10th as the top affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. The IronPigs are debuting the brand-new Bacon, USA, Membership Program this season -- a year-round IronPigs experience pass featuring numerous new amenities such as savings on parking at games and at the Majestic Clubhouse Store at Coca-Cola Park, on-field VIP access to watch batting practice, access to an annual holiday party, an invitation to an exclusive player and coaches photo session and more. For more information, visit ironpigsbaseball.com or call (610) 841-PIGS (7447). Memberships and group outings are on sale now.
The 2017 IronPigs baseball season is presented by Capital BlueCross.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.