Walk-Off Ock! Salem Clips Carolina 5-4 in 12

Ockimey Hits Game-Winning Shot in Extra Frames

Josh Ockimey’s 12th-inning solo homer helped the Salem Red Sox overcome two blown leads, helping them to a 5-4 win over the Carolina Mudcats at Haley Toyota Field at Salem Memorial Ballpark.

 

 

 

The Sox (15-9, 54-37) gave up the tying run in the top of the ninth innings, but were able to bounce back from their bullpen woes to take the victory. Carolina (11-13, 47-45) made a game of it in the late innings, but ultimately fell to their hosts in the first of the three-game set.

 

 

 

Carolina struck first in the top of the second inning, as Isan Diaz slammed a Mike Shawaryn (ND) fastball over the right field wall for his 11th homer of the 2017 season and put the Mudcats ahead 1-0. The Sox drew even in the bottom of the frame, though; Jordan Betts, Mike Meyers and Victor Acosta all singled against Mudcats starter Frank Lopez (ND) to load the bases with one away, and a passed ball by catcher Cooper Hummel let Betts come home to score, tying the game at 1-1.

 

 

 

Salem moved in front in the bottom of the third inning. Betts drew a leadoff walk and moved up to second on a single by Meyers. Acosta flew out to center, and Meyers and Betts zipped to second and third with one away. Lopez then uncorked a wild pitch, plating Betts, and Jhon Nunez singled to score Meyers, making it a 3-1 lead for Salem.

 

 

 

Carolina chipped away in the fifth and sixth frames. Hummel led off the top of the fifth with a solo homer to left, cutting Salem’s lead to 3-2. In the sixth, new reliever Marc Brakeman (BS, 2) hit leadoff man Jake Gatewood, and let him move to second on a wild pitch. After fanning Diaz, Brakeman hit Monte Harrison with a pitch, and Luis Aviles singled to score Gatewood, tying the game at 3-3.

 

 

 

The Sox got back in front in the bottom of the seventh against Carolina reliever Luke Barker.  Rivera led off the frame with a double, and Ockimey doubled him home to put Salem in front 4-3.

 

 

 

Salem maintained the lead until the top of the ninth inning. New reliever Gerson Bautista (BS, 4) got the first two batters to go down quickly, but walked pinch hitter Corey Ray with two outs. Trent Clark lifted a fly ball to left, and Tyler Spoon misjudged it; the ball fell in, and Ray raced around to score and tie the game at 4-4. The Sox went in order in the bottom of the ninth, sending the game to extra innings. 

 

 

 

Both teams had runners aboard in extra frames, but neither side was able to hit paydirt until the bottom of the 12th. With Brad Kuntz entering his fourth inning of action, Ockimey swung at the first pitch fastball and sent it high and deep over the right field wall for the game-winning blast.

 

 

 

Shawaryn fired five outstanding frames but took a no-decision, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk while matching a 2017 Salem-high nine strikeouts. Brakeman gave up one run on one hit and a hit batter in two innings, fanning two. Bautista surrendered one run on two hits and a walk in two frames while striking out two. Stephen Nogosek (W, 1-0) earned the win with three scoreless frames of relief, striking out two against a hit and two walks.

 

 

 

The Sox will look to keep the good times rolling Monday night, with righty Shaun Anderson making the start for Salem against Carolina right-hander Marcos Díplan. First pitch from Haley Toyota Field at Salem Memorial Ballpark is at 7:05 p.m., and Ben Gellman has the call on the Red Sox Radio Network starting at 6:45 p.m.


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