O'FALLON, MO--The River City Rascals capped off a wild night with a bases-loaded, walk-off walk from Braxton Martinez in the bottom of the 12th inning to beat the Windy City ThunderBolts 6-5 on Wednesday night at CarShield Field. The ThunderBolts jumped out to the early 5-1 lead, but the Rascals battled back to tie the game in the fifth, setting up Martinez's heroics.
The Bolts struck first, on an RBI single from Axel Johnson in the top of the third. The Rascals countered with an RBI groudout from Zach Lavy in the bottom of the third to tie the game at one. Windy City then got four runs in the top of the fourth, on RBI singles from Derek Bangert and Omar Obregon and a two-run single from Tim Zier. Martinez got an RBI double in the bottom of the fourth to trim the lead to 5-2, and the Rascals tied the game in the fifth on an RBI double from Lavy and a two-run homer from Kevin Suarez.
The game then went into extra innings, and in the top of the 11th, the ThunderBolts had runners at first at second with nobody out, but on a bunt single from Omar Obregon, pitcher Cody Mincey's throw to first was errant, and on the ensuing play Zier was ultimatley thrown out at the plate. Mincey (4-1) retired the next two hitters in order. The Rascals had a man at third with one out in the bottom of the 11th, but Dan Hlad (1-1) struck out the next two hitters in order to send the game to the 12th.
The Bolts once again had runners at first and second in the top of the 12th, this time with one one, when Mincey got Larry Balkwill to ground into an inning-ending double play. With a man starting the bottom of the 12th at second base for the Rascals, a result of the international tie-breaker rule that goes into affect in the 11th inning, Trevor Achenbach bunted the runner over to third on a sacrifice bunt. The Bolts then elected to intentionally walk both Mike Jurgella and Paul Kronenfeld to load the bases, setting up Martinez's walk-off walk.
Rascals starter Hector Hernandez took a no-decision, allowing five runs in 3 2/3 innings. Tanner Wilt, Chad Gendron, Chris Chigas, Jackson Sigman and Mincey combined for eight scoreless innings out of the bullpen, with Mincey earning the win, pitching the final three innings of the game for the Rascals.
Jake Welch took a no-decision for the Bolts, allowing five runs in five innings. Devin Raftery struck out five in two innings, pitching both the ninth and tenth innings. Hlad took the loss, allowing the winning run, although it was unearned.
The Rascals won despite not recording a hit over the final four innings of the game.
The Rascals (36-33) look for the series win over the ThunderBolts (28-41) in the series finale tomorrow night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35pm CT.