Allentown, PA (April 13, 2015) - The Syracuse Chiefs, Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, came back from a ninth-inning deficit to beat the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, 5-4, Monday night. Syracuse (3-2) gave up the lead in the seventh, but a two-run ninth helped the Chiefs steal the win.
Down one entering the ninth, Mark Minicozzi opened the inning with a key walk off Cesar Jimenez. After a pop out, Jason Martinson drilled a double to left-center field, bringing home Josh Johnson, who pinch-ran for Minicozzi, and tying the game. A batter later, Steve Lerud reached on an error on second baseman Tyler Henson, and Martinson reached third. With the infield in, Cutter Dykstra knocked a low line drive through the vacant shortstop hole and scored Martinson to give the Chiefs the 5-4 lead.
The Chiefs' ninth inning rally answered the IronPigs' two-run seventh. Matt Grace gave up a solo home run to Russ Canzler to start the frame which tied the game at three. Darin Mastroianni then singled and reached second on a sacrifice bunt. He stole third on the final pitch of a walk to Cord Phelps which put runners on the corners. After Grace struck out Jordan Danks, Brian Bogusevic hit a dribbler up the first-base line, and beat the throw for the go-ahead RBI single, which gave Lehigh Valley (1-4) the 4-3 advantage.
The game was a back-and-forth affair all the way through. The IronPigs held a 2-0 lead after three innings with runs in the second and third. In the second, Rene Garcia singled home Jordan Danks off Syracuse starter Bruce Billings to give Lehigh Valley its first run. An inning later, Tyler Henson doubled on a pop fly to right. He reached third on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt by Billings and scored on a sacrifice fly.
Syracuse tied the game in the fourth. Former IronPigs catcher Steve Lerud singled home Kila Ka'aihue and Martinson to tie the game at two.
The Chiefs grabbed the 3-2 lead they took to the seventh an inning earlier. Tony Gwynn, Jr. singled with one out and stole second. Mark Minicozzi launched a hard grounder than bounced off Henson's glove, scoring Gwynn on the error.
After Syracuse took the lead in the ninth, Evan Meek finished off the contest with a 1-2-3 ninth. Manny Delcarmen got credit for the win, with a perfect inning in relief in the eighth.
These two teams take the field again tomorrow night. A.J. Cole gets his second start for the Chiefs opposite Joely Rodriguez for Lehigh Valley. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m.