Playoff Hopes Gone with Heartbreaking Loss
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- With a bases-loaded, ninth-inning walk at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville Saturday night, the Jacksonville Suns (80-58, 40-28) simultaneously won a 9-8 decision against the Montgomery Biscuits (71-65, 33-35) and eliminated Montgomery from playoff contention.
The Suns ensured that the Mobile BayBears, who split a Saturday night doubleheader against the Huntsville Stars, would face them in the Southern League Playoffs. Jacksonville also clinched a second-half championship.
Matt Dominguez's walk came at the end of a 10-pitch at-bat and scored Lorenzo Scott. It was the third issued in the inning by losing pitcher Dane De La Rosa (9-3) and the 10th of the ballgame by Biscuits pitching.
The lead changed hands several times, with both offenses wrecking an advertised pitchers' duel. Montgomery's Drew Anderson and Craig Albernaz touched off the scoring in the second inning with solo home runs against league ERA leader Elih Villenueva. Villenueva's key throwing error in the fourth led to four more runs (one earned).
Jacksonville touched Montgomery starter Alexander Torres for a three-run third, collecting four hits and three RBI doubles. Nonetheless, Torres left the game after five with the opportunity to win had his bullpen fared better.
Heath Rollins was first out of the 'pen and retired the first two batters he faced but could not put away another, eventually departing after five consecutive had reached base against him. Justin Dowdy allowed two more to reach before closing out the frame, which saw Jacksonville take an 8-6 lead.
The Biscuits scraped across single runs in the seventh and eighth innings to tie it before Dominguez's walkoff walk.
The Biscuits have two games remaining in the season; game four of their series in Jacksonville begins at 6:05 p.m. with righty Alex Cobb (7-5) taking on Jacksonville righthander Tom Koehler (16-2).