ROCKVILLE—The Rockville Express (10-19, fifth in North) were looking for some luck and appeared to have it by the ninth inning. That is until the Baltimore Dodgers (12-17, third in North) went on a five-run rally in the ninth to defeat the Express 7-6 Sunday night at Raptors Field at Montgomery College.
The game was scoreless for the first three innings due to solid pitching by Baltimore’s Eli Ginsburg and Rockville’s Anthony Hernandez. Hernandez would go six innings, strike out four batters, and allow only one hit and one run.
Ginsburg, on the other hand, didn’t have that same touch when the bottom of the fourth inning came. The Express would get on the board first when outfielder Justin Smith scored an unearned run due to Dodgers catcher Colin Burgh dropping the ball at home plate. Then, third baseman hit a sac fly which allowed shortstop Billy Lennox to head home. That followed with an RBI single by catcher Jacob Barnwell to drive in outfielder/pitcher Dakota McFadden. Rockville took a 3-0 lead.
Baltimore would score their first run of the game in the top of the fifth when second baseman Joey Ortiz singled to drive in third baseman Paul DiPino III and cut the deficit to 3-1.
However, Rockville kept the runs coming the bottom half of the inning when McFadden hit an RBI single to drive in a run scored by Lennox. As a result, Ginsburg’s night was done after pitching 4.2 innings. Huai-Pin Chiang subbed in for Ginsburg, but would end up allowing an RBI double by second baseman Brandon Crosby on the next at-bat, which put the Express up 5-1.
Rockville would add another run in the bottom of the sixth when Lennox hit an RBI single to score outfielder Pearce Howard. The Express led 6-1 and appeared to put this game out of Baltimore’s reach.
The Dodgers wouldn’t give up, however. In the top of the seventh, Joey Ortiz hit an RBI double to drive in DiPino. That run cut the deficit to 6-2.
When the top of the ninth came, all Rockville reliever Chris Roosevelt had to do was get three outs and seal the victory for his team. But with one out and the bases loaded, Ortiz would hit a bases-clearing double to score outfielder Jaren Shelby, Bergh, and outfielder Brian Tagoe. The Dodgers were now down by one, 6-5.
Outfielder Nick Ortega and first baseman Shane Coker would come through in the clutch for with a game-tying RBI single and the game-winning sac fly, respectively. Baltimore had come back after being down by five runs and as a result, Hernandez was no longer credited with the win he would’ve gotten had Roosevelt secured the save.
“He pitched terrific. He should’ve gotten a win tonight,” Express manager Rick Price said.