Tied at 2-2 in the top of the ninth inning on Friday night at Hank Aaron Stadium, reliever Daniel Stange made a unique season debut for the BayBears as he balked home the go-ahead run in a 3-2 loss to the Tennessee Smokies.
Stange (0-1), who started the season at Triple-A Reno and spent some time in the big leagues this year, allowed a one-out single to Tony Campana in the top of the ninth. Just a moment after nearly picking Campana off first, Stange balked the runner to second. Campana advanced to third with two away as Marwin Gonzalez flied out to center, but before a pitch was thrown to Ty Wright, Stange balked again to score Campana.
It was a tight ballgame throughout the contest with both teams fighting for playoff spots. The BayBears (35-31) grabbed the initial lead in the first when Evan Frey was hit by a pitch and scored on a double by Collin Cowgill.
Bryan Shaw threw the ball well for the BayBears over six innings but let the lead slip in the fifth after opposing pitcher Craig Muschko walked and came home on a two-strike, two-out single by Wright. Tennessee (41-26) scooped the advantage in the sixth when Josh Vitters doubled with two away and touched the plate after a single by Tony Thomas.
Tennessee's lead didn't last long as the BayBears locked up the score at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth with Kory Casto doubling and being knocked home on a one-out single by Taylor Harbin.
Reid Mahon and Leyson Septimo worked scoreless innings before handing the game over to Stange in the ninth, who was ejected after arguing the second balk. Tennessee's magic number is now at one to clinch the North Division title.
- The BayBears are guaranteed a winning ecord in the first half, as they are three games over .500 with two remaining
- All eight BayBears position players in the game collected at least on base-knock
- Ollie Linton stole bases in consecutive games after going just 5-for-15 in his first 54 games
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