INDIANAPOLIS – A very successful homestand ended with excitement for the Indianapolis Indians (16-17) on Sunday.
The Tribe coughed up a ninth inning lead, tied things back up and then used an Austin Meadows walk-off single in the eleventh inning to get a 5-4 win over the Norfolk Tides (15-21) on Mother’s Day. With the win, Indianapolis wraps up their week-long homestand at Victory Field with an impressive 6-1 record. The team also now has eight wins in their past nine games and three consecutive series victories.
Indians starting pitcher Clay Holmes and Tides starter Chris Lee exchanged zeroes through Sunday’s first five innings, but Norfolk finally broke through at the plate in the sixth.
The Tides’ first two batters of the sixth went down on strikes, but a two-out Mike Yastrzemski single kept the inning alive for the visitors. David Washington and Drew Dosch followed with run-scoring hits, a double and a single, respectively, to give Norfolk a 2-0 lead.
Holmes was pulled after Dosch’s RBI single, ending his afternoon after 5 2/3 innings pitched. The righty struck out seven batters, but the rough end to his sixth inning left him with a final line of two runs allowed on seven hits.
The sixth would also result in trouble for Lee, who was unable to record an out in the frame. Chris Bostick got things going for Indy with a single and Lee took care of the rest, walking three consecutive batters to push home the Tribe’s first run.
With the bases loaded and no one out, Norfolk called on Paul Fry to replace Lee. Fry struck out the first two batters he faced, but a two-out wild pitch allowed Meadows to score and tie the game at 2-2.
Bostick kept it going for Indianapolis in the seventh, putting the Indians in front for the first time. After Danny Ortiz singled, he came all the way around to score on a double that Bostick was able to put fair down the left field line.
Reliever Dan Runzler took over for Holmes and fired 2 1/3 scoreless innings, but momentum turned when A.J. Schugel entered the ballgame in the ninth. An error by Bostick at second haunted Schugel and the Indians, as pinch-hitter Chance Sisco homered to give the Tides a 4-3 advantage.
Indy would not go down without a fight, though. In fact, they fought their way back to victory.
In the ninth, it was some clutch hitting that tied the game. Ortiz doubled with two outs in the frame, keeping things going for Bostick. The Tribe’s second baseman made it count, singling home Ortiz to send the game to extra innings.
After a scoreless tenth, the Indians walked off.
Three walks loaded the bases with one out in the eleventh, where Meadows hit a walk-off single to propel Indianapolis to a thrilling 5-4 win.
The Tribe will look to stay hot when they take off to Columbus for five games in four days, beginning on Monday. First pitch from Huntington Park is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Tyler Eppler (3-1, 2.36 ERA) is slated to pitch for the visiting Indians.
It was announced on Sunday that outfielder Barrett Barnes has been transferred from Short-Season A West Virginia to Indianapolis. Utility man Anderson Feliz does the opposite, going from Indy to West Virginia.
Barnes went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts in Sunday’s contest.