PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Jantzen Witte smashed a walk-off home run to power the Pawtucket Red Sox to a 2-1 victory over the Rochester Red Wings in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader at McCoy Stadium.
Held without a hit by Rochester (29-33) through the first six innings of the scheduled seven-inning game, the PawSox (34-29) broke through in the seventh to tie the game and won it in the bottom of the eighth. Pawtucket has now won 18 of its last 23 games, including 10 of its last 12.
Rochester starter Yohan Pino (L, 0-4) faced the minimum through six hitless innings and ended up yielding the two runs on four hits and two walks over 7.2 innings.
PawSox starter Kyle Kendrick scattered seven hits over five innings of one-run ball with a pair of strikeouts. Reliever Noe Ramirez (W, 3-2) then took over and dealt three shutout stanzas with three strikeouts, no walks and just two hits.
Shortstop Engelb Vielma and center fielder Zack Granite led off the fifth with consecutive singles. Right fielder J.B. Shuck then plated Vielma with an RBI groundout to second.
Late Inning PawSox Comeback
Pawtucket finally mounted an offensive threat in the seventh. Center fielder Rusney Castillo led off with a single to short to break up the no-hit bid, but he was promptly erased on a 6-4-3 double play. With the PawSox down to their final out, left fielder Steve Selsky stroked a single to center. Selsky then scored all the way from first when designated hitter and cleanup man Bryce Brentz short-hopped an RBI double off the wall in left-center to tie the game. Pino then stranded a pair of runners to force extra innings.
With two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the eighth, Witte drilled Pino’s 1-0 offering to the left-center berm to send Pawtucket to another victory to begin the doubleheader.
Pawtucket concludes its four-game series against Rochester with another doubleheader Sunday, beginning at 12:35 p.m., at McCoy Stadium. Pawtucket left-handers Henry Owens (4-4, 3.72) and Edgar Olmos (3-1, 2.48) are the scheduled starters. Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the PawSox Pre-Game Show at 12:05 p.m.
The seven-game homestand runs through Wednesday. Good seats are available, and fans can visit the McCoy Stadium box office, which is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m., and during all home games. Fans can also call (401) 724-7300 or log on to PawSox.com for tickets.