Williamsport, Pa - Johan Rojas delivered a walk-off winning hit with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to complete another tremendous comeback for the Crosscutters in a 4-3 victory over the Brooklyn Cyclones on Sunday evening at BB&T Ballpark. The Cutters trailed 3-0 into the bottom of the eighth before their exciting rally. On the Rojas drive back up the middle to win the game, the whole team raced out of the dugout to celebrate while dousing the team's hero with the big Gatorade bucket.
The Crosscutters have won five straight and are 9-2 in their last 11 games. The series sweep of Brooklyn (26-22) is the first of the season for Williamsport.
Bryson Stott knocked a two-run single the opposite way to left to tie the game at 3-3 with two outs in the eighth. Nicolas Torres opened the eighth inning rally with a bunt single and then scored the team's first run of the comeback on a Corbin Williams hit to right.
Williamsport (19-29) had only one hit in the first seven innings and had 16 batters retired consecutively during a stretch from the second through seventh innings. Frank Valentino (ND) spun six tremendous innings of one-hit ball for the Cyclones. Jose Conopoima and Hsin-Chieh Lin each fired four frames for the Cutters. Lin racked up five strikeouts while giving up just one run on four hits from the fifth through the eighth.
It is the second game in a row in which Williamsport scored three runs in the eighth after trailing by multiple runs.
Brooklyn scored a pair of runs against Jose Conopoima in the fourth inning to take the initial lead. A two-run single by Luke Ritter brought home Wilmer Reyes and Yoel Romero who started off the frame with back-to-back hits.
For Williamsport, the team's only hit in the first seven innings was a long double off the wall in left for Rudy Rott in the second inning. After that, Brooklyn starter Frank Valentino went into shutdown mode and didn't allow another base-runner in his stint.
After Brooklyn played little-ball in the top of the eighth to build their lead to 3-0, the Cutters would finally break through in the bottom of the inning. Lin picked up back-to-ack strikeouts at the end of the seventh to strand runners at second and third with no damage. And recorded another big strikeout of Ariel Yera to end the eighth with only one run scored to keep the Cutters reasonably close.
On Saturday night, Williamsport was down 3-1 in the eighth and scored three runs in the inning to win 4-3. On Sunday they found themselves trailing 3-0 and would again put together a three-run rally in the eighth.
Nicolas Torres beat out an infield single to start the rally. Jake Holmes singled to left to snap out of his recent slump and push Torres to third. Corbin Williams delivered an RBI hit to right to get the Cutters on the scoreboard.
Johan Rojas almost delivered in the eighth but his bid for a three-run homer to take the lead fell just shot and was caught at the wall.
But Bryson Stott would come through when it mattered most knocking a two-run hit against the shift and inside the third-base line to bring around Holmes and Williams with the tying runs. Corbin Williams had just stolen second base on the previous pitch. His league-leading 24th swipe was crucial to being in position to score the tying run on the knock by Stott.
Anton Kuznetsov shut down the Cyclones in the ninth to preserve the deadlock. Then Torres would start the rally again in the bottom of the ninth against reliever Daniel Goggin, this time with a one-out bunt single. Mitch Edwards singled solidly to right to advance Torres to thir. After Williams walked on five pitches, it was Rojas Time. He drilled a 1-0 pitch right back up the middle to spark the jubilant celebration among the players and all the fans at BB&T Ballpark in the thrilling 4-3 win.
The Crosscutters continue the homestand at Historic Bowman Field and look to extend the win streak to six on Monday night at 7:05 p.m. with RHP Leonel Aponte scheduled to take the mound against the Pinckney Division leading Batavia Muckdogs (MIA).
- The five-game winning streak is the longest for Williamsport since June 2017.
- Williamsport's 9-2 record is the best of any team in the NYPL since te midway point of the season.
- Nicolas Torres went 5-for-7 on the series
- The Cutters scored three runs in the eighth to overcome deficits of two runs and three runs in consecutive games.
- Corbin Williams swiped his league-leading 24th base of the season allowing him to come in for the tying run on Stott's hit to left.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.