(August 21, 2021 – York, Pa.): Josue Herrera cracked a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning as the York Revolution defeated the Gastonia Honey Hunters, 3-1 on Saturday night at PeoplesBank Park in the nightcap of a day-night doubleheader. York also made a bid at a comeback victory in the opener but dropped a 7-6 decision, as the game two victory snapped a season-high six-game slide. York will go for the series split in the finale on Sunday at 2 p.m.
In the opener, Gastonia stayed hot at the plate with a four-run first inning. Three of the first four Honey Hunters batters reached against Revs starter Jake Welch. Boog Powell was issued a leadoff walk. Mike Papi followed with a base hit to right. After Mike Osinski grounded out, Jake Skole worked a walk to load the bases for Emmanuel Tapia. For the first two runs, Tapia doubled to right and on the same play Skole scored on a Revs fielding error. Norberto Susini plated Tapia from second on a base hit to center for the 4-0 lead.
One more crossed for Gastonia in the second. With one out, Papi walked, stole second, and moved to third on Osinski’s single to left. For the 5-0 lead, Skole skied a ball to center allowing Papi to score on a sac fly.
York got on the board in the fifth in emphatic fashion. With one out, Herrera was hit by a pitch from Gastonia starter Jacinto Garcia. After being no-hit through the first 4.1 innings, Osmy Gregorio hit a first-pitch single to right center for York’s first hit of the day. JC Encarnacion crushed a home run to deep left to cut Gastonia’s lead to two, 5-3.
The Honey Hunters got two runs back in the sixth. After back-to-back walks to Osinski and Skole, Tapia collected two more RBI on his second double to right for a 7-3 advantage.
York came within a run in the seventh, scoring three in the final frame. Encarnacion belted a leadoff triple to right-center and Lenin Rodriguez walked. Darian Sandford drove in the first run with a double to left-center while back-to-back RBI groundouts from Jack Kenley and Andrew Dundon made it a one-run game. York got the tying and winning runs aboard after Nellie Rodriguez (11-game hitting streak) and Welington Dotel both singled with two outs. Gastonia hung on as reliever Jose Jose struck out Herrera for the final out and a 7-6 final.
Game Two was a much lower scoring affair. The Honey Hunters took a 1-0 lead in the fifth. Joshua Sale led off the frame with a walk and was moved to second on a sac bunt from Ermindo Escobar and to third on a single to center by Jordan Howard. That set up Reece Hampton who lined a sac fly to center for the game’s first run.
York tied the game at 1-1 in the seventh. After a leadoff single from Sandford jumpstarted the offense, James Harris walked and Kenley smoked a single to right plating Sandford for the equalizer.
Still tied in the bottom of the ninth, Nellie Rodriguez worked a one-out walk and Herrera set off the postgame fireworks show early with a walk-off home run to right center for the dramatic 3-1 victory.
Revs starter Austin Nicely was brilliant in a no-decision, working eight innings for the second time in four starts and allowing just one run on three hits.
Alberto Rodriguez (3-3) picked up the win with a perfect ninth out of the Revs bullpen, aided by a fantastic diving play by Sandford in center for the second out of the inning, bookended by a pair of strike outs.
York wraps up its series with Gastonia on Sunday as Eduardo Rivera (2-2, 3.69) makes the start opposite the Honey Hunters’ Austin Glorius (4-2, 5.76). Sunday features a Stambaugh Plumbing & Heating Hat Giveaway. Bark in the Park: well-mannered dogs can join their owners at the ballpark! Every Sunday is Sunday Family Fun Day presented by Weis Markets: pre-game autograph sessions, play catch on the field before the game (1-1:30pm) and kids run the bases after the game! Daniel Tiger, Peppa Pig & Winnie the Pooh will also be appearing at PeoplesBank Park. Tickets are available at yorkrevolution.com, 717-801-HITS, or in-person in the Shipley Energy Ticket Office.
Notes: The walk-off win is the fourth of the season for the Revs and the second to come via the long ball (Walner Espinal, June 15 vs. Lancaster). It is the 19th walk-off home run in Revs history. Herrera’s homer is his second of the series as he also clobbered a grand slam on Friday night. The Revs had gone 56 consecutive innings without holding a lead prior to the game-ending home run. They had also gone 49 consecutive innings without coming back from a deficit to at least tie a game until Kenley’s RBI single in the seventh.