TACOMA, Wash. – After falling into an 0-2 count, Rainiers right fielder Zach Shank battled back and ripped a walk-off double down the right field line during the bottom of the 12th inning to solidify the Tacoma Rainiers (57-58) 8-7 victory over the Nashville Sounds (54-60) Monday night.
Shank (2×5, RBI, BB, 2B), shortstop Taylor Motter (2×4, 3 R, RBI, BB, HR) and first baseman Daniel Vogelbach (1×3, 2 R, RBI, 3 BB) led the way for the Rainiers on offense during the five-hour, eight-minute marathon.
Tacoma starter Tyler Cloyd (1-1) allowed two runs across three innings, adding two walks and two strikeouts.
The Sounds were the first to get on the board Monday night, using two hits, a walk and two stolen bases to take a 2-0 lead during the top of the fourth.
The Rainiers fought back during the bottom half, managing four runs on four hits to take a 4-2 lead. Motter led off the frame with a walk, then Vogelbach drilled a line drive off the top of the wall in right center, scoring Motter from first and closing the Tacoma deficit to 2-1. A single from third baseman Gordon Beckham moved Vogelbach to third and a walk from left fielder Kyle Waldrop loaded the bases. Catcher Mike Marjama then walked, scoring Vogelbach and knotting the score at 2-2. Designated hitter Danny Muno would go on to launch a double to left field, scoring both Beckham and Waldrop and giving the Rainiers a 4-2 lead.
The Sounds rallied back during the top of the fifth, using a pair of doubles from Chris Carter and Kenny Wilson and an RBI single from Joey Wendle to take a 6-4 lead.
A pair of RBI walks from Waldrop and Marjama – his second of the night – tied the game at 6-6 during the bottom of the fifth.
Both teams’ bullpens kept the score even until the top of the ninth, when Renato Nunez scored on a wild pitch to give Nashville a 7-6 lead.
Down one run with just three outs to go, Tacoma was given a lifeline by one of its newest additions. Motter crushed a game-tying solo home run during the bottom of the ninth to keep the Rainiers hopes alive and move the score to 7-7.
The Rainiers and Sounds remained locked at 7-7 until the bottom of the twelfth, when Tacoma mounted a game-winning rally. Waldrop led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second when Marjama grounded out to third. Muno then walked and Shank lined a walk-off double down the right field line to seal the 8-7 victory for Tacoma.
The Rainiers and Sounds return to action Tuesday morning for game two of the current four-game series – first pitch is scheduled for 11:35 a.m. Righty Christian Bergman (8-3, 5.10) will be on the hill for Tacoma, while right hander Michael Brady (3-1, 3.35) will get the start for Nashville.
All tickets, group outings and suites packages for the 2017 season are available for purchase in person at the Cheney Stadium Box Office, online at www.tacomarainiers.com, or over the phone at (253) 752-7707. The most up-to-date news and notes about the Rainiers throughout the season can be found by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand) or liking the team on Facebook.