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Martinez Blasts T-Bones into Championship Series

09/12/2010 8:41 PM -

Gabriel Martinez hit a three-run, walk-off home run in the 12th inning to send the Kansas City T-Bones (3-2) into the 2010 Northern League Championship Series with an 8-5 victory over the Joliet JackHammers (2-3) in game five of the Northern League Semifinals at CommunityAmerica Ballpark Sunday night.

Andrew Cruse threw three and two-thirds hitless innings before surrendering a single to Jon Nelson in the fourth. Freddie Thon then hit an RBI double to give Joliet a 1-0 lead. The T-Bones answered in the bottom of the frame when Ray Sadler hit a solo home run off Bear Bay to tie the game at one.

The JackHammers regained the lead in the fifth with a two-run double by Jonathan Wyatt, and they extended their lead to 4-1 with an RBI single by Kevin Rios in the sixth. Joliet started the seventh with two straight singles, chasing Cruse in favor of Steven Stewart. Stewart induced a double play and a flyout to end the threat.

Cruse allowed four runs on 10 hits and one walk over six-plus innings, striking out three. Bay left after seven, surrendering just one run on six hits and one walk while striking out three. Neither starter factored into the decision.

Jimmy Mojica was hit by a pitch to start the T-Bones half of the eighth and moved to second on an infield single by Keanon Simon. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch by Wes Alsup and scored on a two-RBI single by Martinez to bring Kansas City within one.

Dwayne White doubled with one out in the bottom of the ninth and scored on an error to tie the game at four and force extra innings.

Stewart threw three scoreless innings of relief for the T-Bones before Matt Perisho (1-0) took over in the 10th. Perisho threw two perfect innings before Josh Flores started the 12th with an infield single. An RBI double by Brad Correll plated Flores and broke the tie, giving Joliet a 5-4 advantage.

Luis Nieblas reached on catcher’s interference to start Kansas City’s half of the 12th against Griffin Bailey (0-1) and moved to second on a one-out single by Simon. William Jackel entered and immediately surrendered an RBI single to Jacob Blackwood that tied the game at five. Martinez followed with a three-run blast to send the T-Bones into the championship series.

Perisho earned the win, allowing one run on two hits over three innings, striking out three. Bailey took the loss, surrendering two runs, one earned, on three hits over two and two-thirds innings and striking out three. During the regular season Kansas City was just 2-28 when trailing after eight innings.

The T-Bones and RedHawks begin the best-of-five 2010 Northern League Championship Series on Tuesday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. First pitch is set for 7:05. For ticket information regarding the home championship series games on Tuesday and Wednesday, contact the T-Bones box office at 913-328-5618.