O'FALLON, MO--The River City Rascals won the series finale over the Washington Wild Things in dramatic fashion on Sunday night at CarShield Field, earning the 8-7 victory on a walk-off hit from Zach Lavy in the 11th inning. Clint Freeman tied the game at six on a two-run homer in the ninth, and then again at seven in the 11th on a run-scoring single. Rascals closer Cody Mincey (3-1) earned the win, pitching the final 3 2/3 innings out of the bullpen, allowing just an unearned run and striking out eight. He threw 66 total pitches.
The Rascals scored first, thanks to a leadoff homer from Mike Jurgella in the second inning. The Wild Things immediately responded with a solo shot from Conner Simonetti to leadoff the third. Washington then jumped out to the 3-1 lead on a two-run blast to left from James Harris in the fourth. Kevin Suarez brought the Rascals within a run with an RBI single in the fifth, making it 3-2.
Mike Hill led off the seventh with a home run to put the Wild Things back in front by two. The Rascals then tied the game at four in the bottom of the frame on an RBI triple from Kevin Suarez, who scored himself on an RBI groundout from Paul Kronenfeld. The tie didn't last long, as the Wild Things regained the lead on an RBI triple from Hector Roa, and extended the lead to 6-4 on an RBI single from Reydel Medina immediately after Roa's hit in the eighth.
The Rascals entered the bottom of the ninth trailing by two, when Freeman hit an impressive two-run, game-tying blast to even the game at six. The Rascals then had a chance to win the game, but Suarez was caught in a rundown trying to score from second base on a single by Jurgella. Jurgella, who got to second during the rundown, was cut down at the plate trying to score himself on an infield single from Lavy, sending the game to extras.
After neither team scored in the 10th, the Wild Things scored on a sacrifice fly from Harris in the 11th, to take the 7-6 lead. With a runner starting the inning at second, as per the International Tiebreaker rule, observed by the Frontier League, Freeman singled in the tying run, and took second on a wild pitch. After Kronenfeld was intentially walked, Jurgella drew a walk to load up the bases, setting up Lavy's heroics.
Rascals starter Dan Ludwig went six innings, allowing four runs and striking out six. Wild Things starter Trevor Bradley also went six, allowing two runs and striking out four.
Washington closer Zach Strecker went three innings out of the Wild Things 'pen, allowing the tying home run by Freeman. Reliever Aaron Burns (2-1) allowed the tying and winning runs in the 11th, of which only the second was earned.
The Rascals (32-28) are off on Monday and travel to Marion, IL for the first of a three-game set against the Southern Illinois Miners at Rent One Park on Tuesday, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm CT. Dalton Roach is expected to make the start for the Rascals, his first as a professional.