By Tyler Murray –
The Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs edged the Worcester Red Sox with a 4-3 walk-off win in 11 innings on Friday night at Coca-Cola Park.
With the score tied 3-3 entering the bottom of the 11th, automatic runner John Hicks stole third base to bring the winning run 90 feet from home plate with one out. Pinch hitter Simon Muzziotti sent a shallow flair to center, which glanced off the glove of a hard-charging Greg Allen, allowing Hicks to score the winning run. The WooSox employed a five-man infield on the final play, bringing in LF Nick Sogard to join 2B Enmanuel Valdez and 1B Bobby Dalbec on the right side of second base.
Matt Dermody produced his second impressive start of the season, limiting Lehigh Valley to three runs on six hits with no walks and four strikeouts in six innings. Iron Pigs starter Michael Plassmeyer held up his end of the pitchers’ duel, allowing just two runs on three hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in six frames.
Worcester jumped in front with a first-inning RBI single from Niko Goodrum, but Weston Wilson went deep in the home half to knot things up at 1-1. The WooSox retook the lead in the third inning when Dalbec was hit by a pitch and scored on a stand-up triple from Valdez. In his first game since returning from Boston, Valdez launched a pitch to dead center field that tipped off the glove of a leaping Scott Kingery at the wall.
The 2-1 lead did not last long, as Hicks evened things up again with a third-inning sacrifice fly. The Iron Pigs took their first lead on an RBI single by Vimael Machin in the sixth, but Worcester mounted a rally in the seventh to draw even again. Caleb Hamilton walked, Narciso Crook singled, and Sogard walked to load the bases. David Hamilton then sent a sacrifice fly to center field to make it 3-3.
Brennan Bernardino (claimed off waivers from Seattle on April 16) made his Red Sox organizational debut and faced the minimum over two hitless relief innings. After a 1-2-3 eighth, he hit Dalton Guthrie with two outs in the ninth before picking him off to send the game to extras.
The WooSox were held to four hits, and Jorge Alfaro finished the game 0-for-4 with a walk to end his league-best 14-game hit streak.
With the series now even 2-2, the WooSox continue the six-game set with the Iron Pigs on Saturday night at 6:35 p.m. at Coca-Cola Park. Radio coverage begins at 6:15 p.m. on 98.9 Nash Icon and the rest of the WooSox Radio Network.