On First Responders Night, Michael Rockett dropped and rolled but did not stop, leading the York Revolution to a gutsy 7-6 win over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs on Wednesday Night at PeoplesBank Park.
The Revs (6-6, 46-36) will go for the series win over the Blue Crabs (5-8, 31-51) in the rubber match on Thursday morning at 11.
Down 6-3 in the bottom of the sixth, Bryan Pounds got a York rally going with a one-out single. Brandon Chaves hit a potential inning-ending double play to second base, but Angel Sanchez’s flip from the mitt overshot shortstop Eric Garcia, and everybody was safe. Josh Wilson flew out, bringing up Rockett. Mired in an 0-for-14 slump, Rockett laid a bunt down that rolled straight to third base, staying fair all the way and loading the bases.
“I think I just have to thank God for that one,” said Rockett of his bunt. “I’ve been scuffling the last few games, so I had to try and get something down. Somehow it stayed fair.”
Joel Guzman came up to pinch hit, and with runners going on a full-count pitch, Guzman unleashed a double to the right-center gap, scoring everybody and tying the game at 6-6.
Chaves led off the eighth with a walk and Wilson bunted him over to second. Rockett followed with a teardrop single into right field. Chaves broke on contact, racing around third and beating home a strong throw from D’Arby Myers with the go-ahead run.
“I went up knowing he was throwing a lot of first-pitch strikes, so I was looking to be aggressive, too,” Rockett said. “I was trying to drive it back up the middle and was a tad-bit late, but it fell where it needed to.”
Mike DeMark shook off a rough outing on Sunday afternoon — and a leadoff single in the ninth — to strike out his next two and force Sanchez to ground into the game-ending fielder’s choice.
Ricardo Gomez (1-1) earned a win after throwing just one pitch to get the last out of the eighth inning. Scott Snodgress (1-6) took the loss after giving up the go-ahead run in the midst of his two innings.
DeMark’s save gives him a league-leading 22 on the season, tying him with Juan Rincon (2013) for second most in single-season Revs history. He now has 26 career Revolution saves, putting him five back of R.J. Rodriguez for second most in franchise history.
The Revs struck first with a pair of runs in the first inning. Travis Witherspoon led off with an infield single, promptly stole second, and went to third on a wild pitch. Jared Mitchell then bled one to right through the drawn-in infield to score Witherspoon and break the ice. Mitchell stole second base himself, then after a walk and a fielder’s choice, Pounds plated Mitchell with an RBI single to make it 2-0.
Southern Maryland countered quickly in the top of the third. Alfredo Marte singled to lead off, stole second, and went to third on the overthrow. Angel Flores walked and Marte came in on a wild pitch that sent Flores to second. After a fly out to advance the runner, Eric Garcia grounded out to second to bring in Flores and make it 2-2.
York retook the lead in the third inning on a Kevin Rivers RBI double. The Blue Crabs responded in the top of the fifth when Zach Wilson singled home a run.
Angel Sanchez sent a jolt through the ballpark to lead off the top of the sixth, smashing a line drive homer down the left-field line to give Southern Maryland its first lead. Two batters later, Antoan Richardson nubbed a comebacker that Luis Perdomo threw away, resulting in a three-base error. Richardson came in on a Myers double, then after stealing third, Myers scored ahead of a Michael Snyder single. That made it 6-3 for the Crabs and set up York’s heroics in the subsequent innings.
Rockett finished 2 for 4 with the bunt hit and RBI, improving his average since June 9 to .318 (41 for 129). Witherspoon, Rivers and Pounds also racked up two hits, while Guzman’s pinch-hit double notches him a league-leading 59 RBIs this season.
Myers paced the Crab attack, going 3 for 5 with a double, two runs, one RBI and three stolen bases. Snyder and Wilson each had two hits.
Notes: A game that featured three ties and two lead changes ended up as the Revs’ 26th comeback victory of the season, 10 shy of the team record of 36 (2008, 2014). ... Witherspoon now has 14 multi-hit games in 28 with York, batting .333 (42-126) with the team. ... Mitchell stole two bases in the game and Witherspoon stole one, giving them 25 combined stolen bases; the rest of the team has 18 total. ... York’s Frank Gailey (3-2, 2.92) matches up with Southern Maryland’s Brian Burres (7-4, 2.77) on Thursday morning.