Tacoma, WA – The Tacoma Rainiers (69-74) delivered a walk-off win to the home fans at Cheney Stadium for the ninth time this season on Wednesday, when Drew Ellis torched an 0-2 pitch to the left field alley and over the wall down three runs with the bases loaded and one out (estimated 416 feet). The Rainiers defeated the Round Rock Express (76-67) by a 7-6 final, evening their final home series this season at a game apiece.
Ellis’s 14th homer with Tacoma was his second walk-off hit for the Rainiers of 2022 (ninth inning single, August 21 vs. Albuquerque). The game-ending grand slam was Tacoma’s second this season and against Round Rock; Alex Blandino ended the June 10 game, a 6-4 win over the Express at Cheney Stadium, in the same fashion.
Mason McCoy smacked his 19th homer to the opposite field in the first inning, staking Tacoma to a 1-0 lead. The Express evened the score in the third when Ryan Dorow cranked his sixth homer; each club’s shortstop opened scoring with an opposite field blast.
Still batting in the third, Elier Hernandez singled and Ezequiel Duran followed a batter later with a two-run homer to left (7), and Round Rock took their first lead at 3-1. It turned into a nine-batter frame with five hits and a walk; Dio Arias also added an RBI double.
The score was 5-1 Express in the fifth, when Duran smoked his second home run of the game (solo), again to left field. Duran went 5-for-5, adding a double and a pair of late singles (3 RBI, 2 R).
Rainiers RHP Konner Wade powered through six full innings: 7 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. Wade threw 67 of his 98 pitches for strikes. In relief, RHP Riley O’Brien fired a scoreless seventh and eighth, with two strikeouts (H, BB).
Express southpaw Kolby Allard spun a quality start over 102 pitches: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K.
Tacoma’s second run came in the seventh, when Zach Green launched his 18th homer to left, the longest-traveling ball of the evening at 424 feet. The solo shot trimmed the deficit to three runs.
Hernandez, the Round Rock leadoff batter, put a bow on the night’s visiting scoring with his second hit, a solo homer yanked to right field (13) that made it 6-2.
In the ninth, Cade Marlowe led off with his first career Triple-A homer, soaring over the right field wall. With one down, Brian O’Keefe and Erick Mejia each singled, and Green walked to…