Trying to protect a pair of one-run leads, the Oklahoma City RedHawks committed three errors between the ninth and 10th innings, falling 3-2 against New Orleans Zephyrs Thursday night at Zephyr Field.
With the Zephyrs (21-26) trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth, the RedHawks committed errors on the first two plays to put runners at the corners with none out. Mark Canha then tied the game with a RBI single.
After intentionally walking Justin Bour, Kyle Jensen hit into a double play, with outs made at home plate and first base. The RedHawks then intentionally walked Rob Brantly before Jake Marisnick popped out to end the inning.
The RedHawks (26-22) had runners at the corners with one out in the top of the 10th inning when Max Stassi came up to the plate. Stassi hit a grounder mishandled by shortstop Juan Diaz, allowing the go-ahead run to score.
Diaz led off the bottom of the inning with a single. Brian Bogusevic came up next and put down a bunt in front of the plate, but RedHawks catcher Carlos Perez could not field the ball cleanly, allowing Bogusevic to reach base.
After Rhiner Cruz (1-1) struck out Josh Rodriguez, Jordany Valedspin lined a game-winning two-run double into right-center field to give the Zephrys the comeback victory.
It was the first time the RedHawks lost a game when leading after eight innings. They had been 23-0. Similarly, it was the first win for New Orleans when trailing after eight innings. The Zephrys had been 0-20.
Scoreless through three innings, the RedHawks jumped in front in the fourth. With runners at the corners, Andy Simunic sent a sharp line drive to first base. Canha leapt for the ball, but it deflected off his glove and went into shallow right field for a RBI single.
For a long time, it looked like the one run would hold up following another terrific outing by RedHawks starting pitcher Nick Tropeano. Tropeano tied a season high with 6.2 innings, scattering three singles. He tied a season with eight strikeouts and issued two walks.
Tropeano entered the game with a .189 opponent average—second-best in the PCL—and held the Zephyrs 3-for-21. He did not allow a single runner to reach scoring position.
Tropeano exited the game after a two-out walk to Jensen in the seventh inning. Kevin Chapman then entered the game and struck out Brantly to end the inning.
Making his first appearance coming off Tommy John surgery, Alex White retired the side in order in the eighth inning, using just nine pitches.
Although he gave up a run in the 10th inning, Grant Dayton (1-0) earned the win for New Orleans.
The RedHawks will travel to Memphis and open their series at AutoZone Park Friday night at 7:05 p.m.