Tacoma, WA (6/11/22) – The Tacoma Rainiers (22-36) fell to the Round Rock Express (33-26) 14-11 in the second of a three-game series on Saturday at Cheney Stadium. The 6,316 fans in attendance were treated to a spectacular ninth inning rally (five runs) to force extras, but it ultimately would
Tacoma, WA (6/11/22) – The Tacoma Rainiers (22-36) fell to the Round Rock Express (33-26) 14-11 in the second of a three-game series on Saturday at Cheney Stadium. The 6,316 fans in attendance were treated to a spectacular ninth inning rally (five runs) to force extras, but it ultimately would not be enough for the home side.
Rainiers RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon immediately ran into trouble in the top of the first inning. After the starter allowed two baserunners, Round Rock designated hitter Meibrys Veloria drove in one run on a single.
The Rainiers immediately responded in the bottom of the frame. Designated hitter Brian O’Keefe slugged a ball into the gap, tying the game 1-1 with an RBI double.
LHP Danny Young allowed one run on a wild pitch in the third, and another run on a pair of doubles by Nick Tanielu and Ryan Dorow in the fourth, giving Round Rock a 3-1 lead.
Tacoma centerfielder Forrest Wall got both runs back with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the fifth, hammering a shot over the wall in right and evening the score at three runs apiece.
Round Rock retook the lead in the top of the sixth. Nash Knight knocked in a run on an RBI groundout, giving the Express a 4-3 advantage. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded and two out, Taveras legged out an infield single, scoring one.
The Rainiers chipped away at Round Rock’s lead in the bottom of the sixth. Express RHP Daniel Robert walked four Tacoma hitters (Scott Heineman, Alex Blandino, McCoy and Wall), plating a run and drawing the Rainiers within one.
Josh Sale, Express right fielder and Seattle native, made it an 8-4 ballgame in the top of the seventh by hooking a line drive around the foul pole in right field for a three-run homer. The Express tacked on one more in the top of the ninth on a Knight RBI single.
Tacoma refused to go down silently in the bottom of the ninth. Heineman brought the Rainiers to within three with an RBI double to left. With two out, Blandino, the hero from Friday night (walk-off grand slam), drove in a run on a single. McCoy followed with a blast to right, tying the game with the clutch two-run shot and capping off the five-run inning.
Yohel Pozo started the scoring in the 10th for Round Rock with a sacrifice fly. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded, Sale (4 R, 7 RBI) crushed a second homer, making it a 14-9 game.
The Rainiers again rallied, but it would not be enough. Wilson hit a two-run bomb to left to pull Tacoma within three, before a long evening ended with 25 runs. For Wilson, it was his team-leading 10th homer, and he’s gone deep in consecutive games.
The rubber match of this three-game series is set for Sunday at 1:35 p.m. PT. LHP Justus Sheffield will start for the Rainiers and RHP Cole Winn is scheduled to take the mound for the Express.
All 2022 Rainiers games, home and away, can also be heard for free on the MiLB First Pitch app. HD video broadcasts of every home game can be viewed with a MiLB.TV subscription.
About the Tacoma Rainiers
The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. The Rainiers are a member of the Pacific Coast League and have been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.
The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found at WeRTacoma.com, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.