Tri-City pinch-hitter Daniel Adamson had just four hits in his previous 34 at-bats before stepping to the plate in the 11th inning of Tuesday's New York-Penn League semifinals opening game.
He blasted a walk-off homer on the third straight breaking ball he saw as the ValleyCats rallied to beat the Batavia Muckdogs, 10-9.
"I was a little bit (nervous)," Adamson said, "but I felt comfortable so it worked out. It was a curveball, curveball, curveball and I hit the last curveball. I wasn't trying to guess it, but he threw it."
Adamson wouldn't have had a chance to be the hero had ValleyCats catcher Chris Wallace not saved the day in the bottom of the ninth. The Muckdogs took a 9-7 lead into the frame, but Chase Reid issued a walk to Tri-City's Oscar Figueroa and Wallace smacked a mammoth shot on a 3-1 fastball to tie the game.
"I don't know how far it went," Wallace said. "I was told it hit the building out in left-center field."
"It went a good ways," Adamson added. "One of the longest ones I've seen."
Wallace also singled twice. Tri-City's Austin Wates went 3-for-6 and Ben Orloff added a double and a single. But on a night that included 12 pitchers, 31 hits and four homers, it was the last batter to enter the game who would ultimately be the hero.
"We've been trying to put together good at-bats all year and we've really been able to that, especially of late," Adamson said.
Mike Ness got the win in relief after allowing two hits and a walk over 1 2/3 scoreless innings. ValleyCats starter Carlos Quevedo allowed five runs on eight hits over five frames.
"(Ness) came in and did a really good job and shut them down right off the bat," batterymate Wallace said. "He just came in and threw strikes. He got huge ground balls and the guys made plays."
Reid took the loss for Batavia after giving up three runs on two hits and three walks in 2 1/3 innings. Muckdogs starter John Gast was tagged for seven runs on nine hits while striking out eight batters over five innings.
"Every game we play is tight," Wallace said. "We've had a bunch of walk-off homers and game-winning singles. Both teams were battling. We did what we had to do to get the win."
Batavia's Jonathan Rodriguez finished 4-for-6 with a double and Nick Longmire added three singles, two RBIs and two walks.
Game 2 will take place in Batavia on at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
In other New York-Penn League action:
Jamestown Jammers 7, Brooklyn Cyclones 6
Dallas Hord hit a go-ahead RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning as Jamestown defeated Brooklyn in Game 1 of their New York-Penn League semifinal series. The Jammers' Jordan Conley picked up the win in relief after allowing one hit and fanning three over the final 1 2/3 innings. Box score