Hopf keeps Sounds alive -- twice

Hits tying homer in ninth, delivers walk-off hit in 10th

(Mike Strasinger)

September 7, 2007 8:46 PM ET

J.R. Hopf hit a walk-off single in the 10th inning Friday as the Nashville Sounds staved off elimination in their Pacific Coast League first-round series with a 6-5 win over the New Orleans Zephyrs.

One inning after cranking a leadoff homer to tie the game, 5-5, the 24-year-old catcher laced a two-out, bases-loaded single to plate Brad Nelson with the winning run.

"I just got lucky," Hopf said. "I got some pitches I was able to hit. I actually thought Laynce Nix was going to get a hit [before me]. I thought the pressure was on him."

Hopf also lofted a sacrifice fly in the fourth for the Sounds, who trail the best-of-5 PCL American Conference series, 2-1. Game 4 is Saturday in Nashville.

"I'm just glad to put the team in a position to keep on playing," he said. "We battled. We could have just come home 0-2 and rolled over. We're going to have the same mind-set we had today. It's a great feeling"

Andy Abad hit a two-run shot, his first, in the second and Nelson went 4-for-4 and scored three runs for the Sounds.

Nashville reliever Marino Salas (1-0) pitched around two hits in the 10th. Starter Mark DiFelice allowed four runs on six hits, walking one and striking out five over five innings.

Chip Ambres blasted a three-run homer, his first, in the first and Jesus Feliciano went 3-for-5 and scored a run for the Zephyrs. Fernando Tatis and Robinson Cancel, who left the game in the 10th with a leg injury, had two hits and an RBI each.

New Orleans reliever Ryan Cullen (0-1) gave up one run on two hits, walked two and struck out two. Starter Brian Lawrence allowed three runs on nine hits with a strikeout over six frames.

Michael Blinn is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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