Nick Homa broke the Ducks single season strikeout record (60 and counting) and Andrew McCray hit what proved to be the game winning single in the bottom of the sixth, as the Ducks (8-9-2) defeated the Eagles (7-9) to remain in control of their own destiny for the final playoff spot in the Monongahela Division.
It was a pitcher’s duel early. Nick Homa faced only nine batters through three innings, and Eagles’ starting pitcher Don Henley held the Ducks in check for most of the game. In the top of the fourth, the Eagles screeched and clawed their way to a 3-0 lead.
With one out, Joe Walsh doubled and Glen Frey reached on an error, scoring Walsh. Frey would steal second and score on a Bernie Leadon single. Leadon moved to third on an error and scored on a soft liner by Randell Cunningham. Homa induced a Vai Sickahema groundout, and struck out Brian Westbrook to end the inning.
The Ducks tallied a run in the bottom of the fifth courtesy of a bases loaded walk by Eric Tans. 3-1 Eagles after five.
The Ducks got to Henley in the sixth. Henley beaned Rick Wailen, who stole second and moved to third on a Mark Guthrie single. Gwin Walked to load the bases for all-star catcher Jesse Smith. Smith came through with a clutch two-run single to center, to tie the game at three. Ryan Novak Walked to load the bases for Andrew McCray…
The Ducks went ahead 5-3. Homa retired the side in the top of the seventh.
The dramatic come from behind win sets up what amounts to a playoff game with the Rakers (9-9) Sunday at 3pm.
The Ducks’ single season strike out record was previously held by Ian Dickman (56).
I’ll have more on this game later.