ALLENTOWN, PA.– The Gwinnett Stripers defeated the Lehigh Valley IronPigs 5-4 in 11 innings Thursday night in the finale of the three-game series at Cola-Cola Park. An RBI double in the top of the 11th by Jack Lopez was the game-winner.
The IronPigs (32-31) took a 1-0 lead by scoring an unearned run on a wild pitch by Gwinnett starting pitcher Patrick Weigel. Gwinnett (36-29) tied the game at one in the top of the sixth on an RBI single by Rafael Ortega. Ortega then delivered a two-RBI double in the top of the eighth for a 3-1 Stripers lead.
However, Ali Castillo drilled two-RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to send the game to extra innings. In the top of the 10th, Sean Kazmar Jr. drew a bases loaded walk to give Gwinnett a 5-4 lead, but Lehigh Valley tied the game in the bottom of the 10th on a RBI single to left by Jan Hernandez. The winning run was scored in the top of the 11th on an RBI double to center by Lopez.
Weigel went four innings with one unearned run and four strikeouts. Connor Johnstone (W, 1-0) picked up the win with two innings, one unearned run and two strikeouts. Ortega was 2-for-5 at the plate with a double and three RBIs. Kazmar Jr. went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Ramon Rosso started for Lehigh Valley and worked six innings with one unearned run and nine strikeouts. Kyle Dohy (L, 1-3) took the loss out of the bullpen, he pitched one inning with one unearned run and one strikeout. Offensively, former Gwinnett catcher Rob Brantley led the IronPigs with a 2-for-4 night. Castillo was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.
Andres Blanco was 1-for-5 and has now hit safely in nine of 11 games in June. Ortega extended his hitting streak to nine games. The Stripers struck out a season-high 18 times.
Gwinnett plays at Syracuse on Friday at 7:05 p.m. at NBT Bank Stadium. Right-hander Kyle Wright (3-4, 7.22 ERA) will pitch for the Stripers, while the Mets haven't announced a starting pitcher.