PORTLAND, ME - Tzu-Wei Lin dashed home with the game-winning run and narrowly beat Colton Plaia's tag to lead the Portland Sea Dogs past the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in ten innings, 3-2, on Tuesday night at Hadlock Field. Rumble Ponies reliever Corey Taylor barehanded Aneury Tavarez's dribbler near the mound, but his throw was too late to prevent the Ponies from dropping their third straight game.
Binghamton forced extras by getting to Portland closer Williams Jerez in the ninth. After the Ponies loaded the bases on two walks and a single, Plaia rolled a game-tying groundout to third base, knotting the game at two.
In the tenth, Binghamton put two aboard, but failed to push a run across against Taylor Grover. The Rumble Ponies finished the night 0-for-12 with runners scoring position.
Lin started the tenth by doubling into the left-field corner. Danny Mars' sacrifice bunt moved Lin to third and set the table for Tavarez's walk-off.
Jerez's blown save wasted a stellar start from Kevin McAvoy. After the Rumble Ponies scored their only run against the Portland starter thanks to a pair of walks and two wild pitches, the Syracuse native settled in. Starting with LJ Mazzilli's run-producing fielder's choice, the righty retired 11 of the next 12 batters he faced. McAvoy capped his night by stranding Champ Stuart at third in the sixth inning, preserving Portland's one-run lead.
The late-game theatrics overshadowed Mike Olt's tiebreaking home run in the fourth inning. Two pitches after barely fouling off a two-strike pitch against Mickey Jannis, Olt lifted a 2-2 offering over the 37-foot Maine Monster in left field. His first long ball as a Sea Dog gave Portland the lead for good.
Grover (0-1) earned the win in relief, while Taylor (0-1) was handed his first loss.
McAvoy allowed two hits, both singles, and struck out three over six innings of work in the no-decision. Jannis allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits and struck out two over five innings in the no-decision.
The Rumble Ponies (2-3) conclude their first visit of the season to Portland on Wednesday morning at 11:00 AM. RHP Tyler Pill takes the mound for the second time to face RHP Teddy Stankiewicz. The Horizons Federal Credit Union Pregame Show can be heard starting a 10:45 AM on CBS Sports Radio 1360 and the Binghamton Rumble Ponies channel on TuneIn.
POSTGAME NOTES: Binghamton is 1-for-22 with runners in scoring position since the second inning of Monday's game…Alberto Baldonado struck out four over two scoreless innings of relief…Kelly Secrest made his season debut with two blank frames
The Rumble Ponies will kick off a new era of professional baseball in the Southern Tier with their home opener on Thursday, April 13 against the Erie SeaWolves. Tickets for the game and Binghamton's entire home schedule can be purchased at the NYSEG Stadium box office, online on www.bingrp.com and over the phone at (607) 722-FUNN.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.