The opening night of a big weekend in the Frontier League did not disappoint. It was highlighted by more key games, with a couple featuring late scoring that led to some important victories. Here is a recap of all of Friday’s action:
The Tri-City ValleyCats scored the go-ahead run in the tenth inning to take the lead for good and beat the New York Boulders 5-4. The ValleyCats initially took the lead with single runs in the first and third innings. Brad Zunica hit a home run in the first and Denis Phipps hit an RBI double in the third. In the sixth inning, the Boulders took the lead with a four-run frame. Kevonte Mitchell scored on a balk and Marcus Mastrobuoni followed with a three-run home run to put New York up 4-2. A two-run double by Zunica would tie the game at 4-4 in the seventh inning. The game then went to extra innings, where Juan Silverio gave Tri-City the 5-4 lead and the win with an RBI single in the top of the tenth. The win kept the ValleyCats level with Québec for first in the Atlantic Division.
The Washington Wild Things scored four late runs to win the opener of a big series with the Sussex County Miners 7-3. Bralin Jackson opened the scoring with an RBI single in the first and added another in the third. Grant Heyman also singled a run home in the inning to make it 3-0. In the bottom half, Cito Culver scored on an error for Sussex County’s first run of the game. LT Struble followed in the fifth with an RBI single, and Audy Ciriaco also singled home a run in the sixth to tie the game at 3-3. The score would remain locked at 3 until the eighth inning, when Washington’s Joe Campagna broke the tie with an RBI triple to give the Wild Things the 4-3 lead. They would extend that lead in the ninth with an RBI single by Hector Roa, a run scoring on a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly by Trevor Casanova. The win now puts the Wild Things two games clear of Sussex County in the Northeast Division.
Équipe Québec used a complete game shutout from Codie Paiva to beat the New Jersey Jackals 7-0. David Glaude opened the scoring for Québec with an RBI single in the first. L.P. Pelletier scored on an error in the third and Connor Panas singled home two more to make it 4-0. In the seventh, Glaude launched a two-run home run and Gift Ngoepe drove in one more with a single. Starter Codie Paiva went the full nine innings, allowing just four hits and a walk while striking out three in the win.
Four home runs fueled the Southern Illinois Miners to an 8-3 win over the Gateway Grizzlies. A two-run home run by Abdiel Diaz—his first professional homer—gave Gateway a 2-0 lead in the second inning. The Miners answered with a two-run shot of their own by Jarrod Watkins in the third inning. Ariel Sandoval followed with a three-run homer later in the inning to make it 5-2, and Anthony Brocato also added a two-run home run to push the Miners’ lead to 7-2 in the third inning. The next run would come in the seventh inning, when Justin Jones hit a solo home run for the Grizzlies to make it 7-3. The next half inning, Bryant Flete got the run back for the Miners with a solo shot of his own to make it 8-3.
The Evansville Otters scored six times in the fourth inning to earn a 9-1 victory over the Schaumburg Boomers. Schaumburg gained a 1-0 lead in the first courtesy of a Quincy Nieporte RBI double. That lead would last for three innings until the Otters answered with nine unanswered runs. Jeffrey Baez started the fourth with a two-run home run. John Schultz then singled home a run and scored as part of a three-run home run by Justin Felix to make it 6-1. In the eighth, Felix tripled home a pair of runs and Miles Gordon’s sacrifice fly brought the score to 9-1. Starter Braden Scott tossed eight innings and struck out twelve batters, allowing just the one run in the win.
The Windy City ThunderBolts took advantage of 12 walks and defeated the Lake Erie Crushers 7-4. Rob Calabrese’s groundout plated the first run of the game in the first inning. Rob Weissheier got an RBI hit to make it 2-0. The next inning, Calabrese again scored a run on a groundout. Lake Erie got on the board in the fourth when Nick Rotola homered and Javier Betancourt followed with a solo shot of his own to tie the score at 3-3. Windy City regained the lead with RBI doubles by Zac Taylor and Jack Strunc that made it 6-3. One more insurance run came in the seventh with a bases-loaded walk to Robertson. The Crushers also got one more run with a Karl Ellison RBI double that brought it to 7-4.
The Florence Y’alls took the lead early and pitched their way to a 7-1 victory over the Joliet Slammers. Trevor Craport connected on a two-run home run in the first, and the Y’alls would never look back from there. In the second, Connor Crane singled home a run and a run scored on a Jose Brizuela sacrifice fly. Joliet’s Scott Holzwasser doubled home their first and only run to make it a 4-1 game. Craport hit an RBI single to bring home two more runs in the fifth, and Connor Crane brought home Florence’s final run in the ninth with a base hit. Starter Jared Cheek pitched seven innings and struck out nine, allowing the one run on five hits and zero walks in the win.
The holiday weekend continues Saturday with another full slate of Frontier League action. You can follow it all on FrontierLeagueTV.com or in the app!