Meadows maintains Mud Hens walk-off magic

Toledo Mud Hens

TOLEDO, OH.: Down 5-0 after an inning and 6-0 through nine outs, the Toledo Mud Hens rallied back to secure their second straight walk-off victory in as many days over the Omaha Storm Chasers, 8-7, in ten innings on Wednesday night at Fifth Third Field.
As they did on Tuesday,

TOLEDO, OH.: Down 5-0 after an inning and 6-0 through nine outs, the Toledo Mud Hens rallied back to secure their second straight walk-off victory in as many days over the Omaha Storm Chasers, 8-7, in ten innings on Wednesday night at Fifth Third Field.

As they did on Tuesday, the Storm Chasers built a nice lead by putting up multiple runs in the first inning. After the first two men reached to begin the frame and Omaha pulled off a successful double steal, Bryan Garcia settled down to strike out the next two hitters. However, a passed ball during the at-bat of Dairon Blanco enabled Drew Waters to score the first run. Clay Dungan and Logan Porter notched consecutive RBI knocks to push the margin to 3-0. Jose Briceno allowed both Dungan and Porter to touch home on a two-run single to make it 5-0.

The Storm Chasers scratched across another two-out tally in the second. Blanco singled, stole a base, and came in on an RBI single from Nick Loftin to increase the advantage to 6-0.

Garcia received a no-decision for Toledo, surrendering seven hits, six runs, four walks, and racking up six strikeouts in the process.

The Mud Hens began to chip away with a two-out rally of their own in the bottom of the second. Jamie Westbrook punched a single through the left side against Storm Chasers starter Carlos Hernandez. Zack Short then belted his 11th home run of the season to cut the Omaha lead to 6-2.

Toledo manufactured another run in the home half of the fourth. Andre Lipcius hit a grounder that got underneath the glove of Loftin at third, plating Daz Cameron, to trim the Omaha edge to 6-3.

Ryan Kreidler coaxed a walk to commence another Mud Hens charge in the bottom of the fifth. He advanced to third on a double from Josh Lester, and then scored on an RBI groundout by Spencer Torkelson; 6-4 Storm Chasers after five.

Brewer Hicklen added a key insurance run for Omaha when he smoked his 20th long ball of the season in the top of the eighth off Joey Wentz to bump the lead back to three.

That was the only mistake Wentz would make in his first Toledo appearance since May 25. He scattered two hits, three walks, and five punch outs across 2 and 2/3’s innings of fine work on the mound.

Toledo came out swinging immediately opposite Andres Nunez in the bottom of the ninth. The frantic rally began with a base hit from Short and an RBI double from Lipcius to make it 7-5. Two batters later, rehabbing Tigers outfielder Austin Meadows plated Lipcius with a single back up the middle. Nunez was removed in favor of Sam Freeman after issuing a free pass to Kreidler. Lester laced the first pitch he saw from Freeman down the right field line, sending Meadows to the plate, and evening the contest at 7-7.

Lester finished the evening 3-5 at the dish, extending his current hitting streak to four consecutive assignments and his on-base streak to 13 games. He has hit safely in 24 of his last 28 games and has multiple hits in 11 of these contests.

Short climbed aboard four times on the evening, finishing 2-3 with a pair of walks, two RBIs and two runs scored.

Nick Vincent (5-5) earned his second straight win in the series, fanning the side in the top of the tenth and not permitting the placed runner to touch home.

Meadows capped his 2-6 night by delivering a clutch two-out, walk-off single against Freeman (3-1) with runners on the corners to complete the dramatic comeback victory.

Wednesday marked the ninth walk-off win of the year for the Mud Hens.

NEXT UP: The Mud Hens and Storm Chasers continue their six-game series on Torkelson and Riley Greene Bobblehead Night at Fifth Third Field. Thursday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

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