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Wings Late Comeback Falls Just Short

Offense pushes across seven runs in ninth
September 20, 2023

The Rochester Red Wings fell to Indianapolis Wednesday afternoon despite a seven-run ninth inning, 14-11. RF Jack Dunn logged three hits and came up a homer shy of the cycle, while 3B Jeter Downs picked up three hits of his own to go along with a pair of RBI. RHP

The Rochester Red Wings fell to Indianapolis Wednesday afternoon despite a seven-run ninth inning, 14-11. RF Jack Dunn logged three hits and came up a homer shy of the cycle, while 3B Jeter Downs picked up three hits of his own to go along with a pair of RBI. RHP Holden Powell made his Triple-A debut on the mound, becoming the 80th player to suit up for Rochester this year which puts them one shy of a franchise record (81 in 2022).

LF Canaan Smith-Njigba got the scoring started in the bottom of the first, launching a two-out 456-foot solo home run to make the score 1-0. This was the Lone Star State native’s 15th long ball of the year, which is a career-high.

It took until the fourth inning for Rochester to get on the board when 1B Frankie Tostado started it off with a full-count walk and advanced to second base after RF Jack Dunn followed up with a walk of his own. 3B Jeter Downs loaded the bases for Rochester with a soft infield single that bounced over second base. C Onix Vega put the Wings on the board with a sacrifice fly out to deep center field to tie the game up 1-1.

Indianapolis quickly responded in the bottom half of the inning with three runs of their own. CF Matt Gorski started it off with a one-out walk and advanced to third on a single from 3B Domingo Leyba. DH Joe Perez scored both runners with a three-run bomb, which was his first home run in an Indianapolis uniform making the score 4-1.

2B Nick Gonzales got the fifth inning started for Indianapolis with a slow-rolling infield single that scooted underneath the short stop's glove. RF Ryan Vilade moved Gonzales to second and reached first base safely on a fielding error by the second baseman. Rochester’s fielding woes continued when Matt Gorski hit a pop fly just to the right of the pitcher's mound which was dropped by the first baseman allowing Vilade to move to third and Gonzales to come around to score. PH Josh Bissonette entered the game and immediately drove in a run by singling to right field scoring Vilade, pushing the Indians lead to 6-1.

A call to the bullpen in the middle of the inning did not slow down Indianapolis’ offense as Joe Perez singled to right field to score Gorski, adding another to the lead and making it a six-run ball game. 1B Aaron Shackelford joined the rally with an RBI single of his own to right field which allowed Bissonette to score making it 8-1 after the bottom of the fifth inning.

Rochester began to mount a comeback in the sixth with a one-out walk from DH Erick Mejia. Jack Dunn and Jeter Downs had back-to-back singles to load the bases for Onix Vega, who flared a single to right field and pushed Mejia across the plate to cut into the seven-run deficit to make it 8-2. SS Richie Martin joined the barrage of singles with one of his own that scored Dunn, leaving the bases load and making it an 8-3 contest.

Indianapolis immediately answered Rochester's two-run sixth inning with three runs of their own. SS Vinny Capra started the bottom half of the inning with a single lined to center field and was moved to second with another single from Nick Gonzales. Canaan Smith-Njigba extended the Indians' lead to 9-3 with a 102.3 MPH ground ball single to center field scoring Capra. The next at-bat Ryan Vilade grounded into a fielder’s choice to the shortstop, which scored Gonzales, and extended the Indianapolis lead to 10-3. Josh Bissonette, in his second at-bat since entering the game in the fifth inning, singled once again scoring Vilade making the score 11-3 at the end of six innings.

Indianapolis started off the bottom of the seventh inning with back-to-back walks from C Dom Nunez and Vinny Capra. Nick Gonzales followed up the two walks with a two-RBI triple scoring Nunez and Capra making the score 13-3. Gonzales is now tied with Jacksonville’s Jake Mangum for the most triples (8) in the International League this season. Canaan Smith-Njigba kept his hot day going with another RBI single to center field scoring Gonzales from third making the score 14-3 after seven innings of play.

In the top of the eighth, Jack Dunn launched a lead-off triple off the top of the left-center field wall marking his first triple since 9/9/21 with High-A Wilmington. Dunn caught the Indians’ defense off guard, tagging up on a sacrifice foul pop-fly to the first baseman cutting the deficit to ten runs with a score of 14-4.

Rochester showed some life in the ninth with a lead-off single by 2B Jordy Barley. LF Darren Baker grounded into a fielder’s choice to the shortstop and eventually advanced to second base on a wild pitch the next at-bat. He came around to score on a Frankie Tostado single to right field to make it a 14-5 ball game. Erick Mejia kept the game alive with a single to right-field moving Tostado to third. Jack Dunn came up big with a double to left-center field, moving Mejia to third and scoring Tostado to cut the lead to eight. Jeter Downs kept the rally alive with a single to left field which scored both Mejia and Dunn to cut into the lead to make the score 14-8.

The Wings weren’t done yet, Onix Vega worked a walk moving Downs to second base. Richie Martin continued the huge ninth inning and launched a no-doubt three-run home run over the left field fence to make the score 14-11. Jordy Barley would keep the miracle alive with an infield single to third base before Rochester would eventually record their final out of the game.

RHP Tommy Romero made his 10th start of the year for Rochester this afternoon, allowing four earned runs, on four hits through 4.0 innings of work. RHP Hobie Harris comes on in relief of Romero to start the fifth inning, giving up four unearned runs, on two hits, and one strikeout. LHP Lucas Knowles tossed the next 1.2 innings, giving up five runs, on six hits, and a strikeout. RHP Holden Powell made his Triple-A debut today tossing 1.2 innings, giving up one run, on two hits, and a strikeout.

Diamond Pro Player of the Game honors go to RF Jack Dunn. The Northwestern alumni went 3-for-4 and was only a home run shy of hitting for the cycle. The Georgia native finished Wednesday’s game with one run batted in, three runs scored and worked a walk. His triple today was only the third of his career and his first since 9/9/21 with High-A Wilmington.

Rochester looks to pick up their first win of the series in Indianapolis Thursday night. RHP Roddery Muñoz takes the mound in what will be his 10th start with the Wings, against Indians RHP Jared Jones. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m.

Find the box score attached here.