In baseball, sometimes a little luck is needed to spur a rally, and the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts got just that Saturday night against the DC Grays.
A popup fell in to spark a three-run Thunderbolt ninth inning, and Silver Spring-Takoma walked it off two innings later for a 5-4 win.
The Grays came out fast and roughed up Thunderbolts starter Tanner Jacobson. Blake Martin crushed a solo home run in the second inning for DC, while Bryan Call scored on a groundout and Jordan Wiley blasted a two-run homer in the third to put the Grays up 4-0.
Jacobson would be pulled after that, going three innings while allowing four runs, three hits and three walks. He struck out one.
Meanwhile, Reid McLaughlin stymied the Thunderbolts offense. He pitched four perfect innings, working ahead in counts and inducing weak contact.
He was lifted for Jarren Norman in the fifth, who continued the perfect effort for one batter before hitting Lucas Donlon.
The Thunderbolts would break through in the sixth, picking up their first hit thanks to Ian McMillan and plating a run on a Tony Gallo RBI single.
As the offense started to heat up, the Silver Spring-Takoma bullpen locked down. Bradyn Kail threw five shutout innings, scattering four hits while striking out five to keep the Thunderbolts in the game.
Jacob Hardney came on for the Grays in the seventh and worked two quick innings before running into trouble in the ninth.
Gallo reached base after a popup fell between two fielders, and the Thunderbolts proceeded to load the bases with one out. Hardney then unleashed a wild pitch, plating Gallo and cutting the deficit to two.
After a Daulton Martin strikeout, Ryan Roell drilled the first pitch he saw up the middle, driving in two and tying the game. Rasesh Pandya came on for the Grays and got Dominic Ford to fly out to send the game to extra innings, but the damage was done.
Tyler Dyball continued the Thunderbolts’ pitching dominance, tossing three scoreless innings and picking up the win while allowing two hits and striking out four.
In the bottom of the 11th, Lucas Donlon roped a double down the left field line on Pandya’s first pitch of the inning to give the Thunderbolts a scoring chance. Brenden Williams then moved Donlon to third on an infield single, setting up pinch hitter Luke Trainer.
With the infield in, Trainer nudged a single just past a diving Robby Wacker, sending Silver Spring-Takoma to their sixth victory in their last eight games.
The Thunderbolts will look to continue this hot streak Sunday in Gaithersburg against the fourth-place Giants. Yash Rane is scheduled to start.
Open this thread to see interviews with Ryan Roell and Luke Trainer: