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Friday, June 22, 2012
LITTLE FALLS, N.J. – Four hours and 39 minutes and 15 innings of baseball were not enough at Yogi Berra Stadium on Friday, as the Grand Prairie AirHogs and New Jersey Jackals were suspended due to the American Association/Can-Am League midnight curfew, with the score tied 8-8 heading to the 16th.
The game will resume on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. CT, before the regularly scheduled contest between the two teams at 5:35, which will still be nine innings.
Jakob Cunninhgam and Jake Hale are the current pitchers, with the 8-9-1 hitters due up for Grand Prairie and the 3-4-5 hitters due up for the Jackals.
After the start of the game was delayed 16 minutes due to rain, the first two Jackals hitters of the night, Gaetano Giunta and Angel Berroa, bunted for hits on the first two pitches from Lance Day, before Day struck out Bryan Sabatella looking. It looked like the rookie starter would get out of the inning when Francisco Caraballo bounced a possible double-play ball to second, but Yasutsugu Nishimoto was ruled to have not touched second, and Giunta then danced around Chris McMurray’s tag at home plate to score the first run.
Grand Prairie came back with a Greg Porter single and a Trent Lockwood home run off Kyle Greenwalt to take the lead in the second, and added one on Chris McMurray’s two-out solo home run in the fourth.
But three-straight two-out hits by New Jersey in the fourth tied the game, and the Jackals then took the lead with three more in the sixth.
Sabatella singled to start the frame, and when Day mis-fired on a pickoff throw which sailed into right, Sabatella scampered all the way around to score. Two more hits chased Day from the game, and Chris Henderson lined a two-run single off lefty Ronnie Morales to make it 6-3.
The AirHogs scored a pair off two Jackals relievers in the seventh and McMurray hit his second home run of the night to tie the game leading off the eighth. Dustin Birosak retired 11 of the 12 AirHogs he faced, getting the only man who reached on a caught stealing, while Derrick Miramontes, Griffin Bailey and Cody White danced through a bit of trouble to reach the 12th.
Zach Woods held the AirHogs scoreless in that frame, while rookie utility man Kenny Held came on to pitch the bottom of the 12th and got around a one-out single.
In the 13th, Greg Porter led off with a single off of Hale, and after Chris McMurray sacrificed him to second, the Jackals walked Trent Lockwood intentionally to bring up David Thomas, who lined a triple to right-center to give Grand Prairie the lead. But the AirHogs left Thomas at third – which proved big in the bottom of the inning.
Closer Justin Dowdy got Steve Caseres on strikes to start the home 13th, but then walked Chris Henderson before Chris Curran flied out. Giunta then blooped a double to left in front of the dive of Thomas, before Berroa walked to load the bases. Sabatella then grounded the first pitch through the left side to tie the game, before Dowdy forced a 14th inning by striking out Francisco Caraballo.
Hale retired the AirHogs in order in the top half, and Dowdy struck out the side to bring the 15th inning. Hale had another perfect inning while Cunningham pitched around a leadoff walk, getting Angel Berroa to pop out 54 seconds after the clock struck midnight to stop play.
The 2011 American Association Champion Grand Prairie AirHogs continue their three-game series against the New Jersey Jackals, on Saturday, June 23, at 5:35 p.m. The next home game at QuikTrip Park is Friday, June 29, at 7:05 p.m. against the Amarillo Sox. That night is QuikTrip Night, with free ticket vouchers available at local QuikTrip stores. All games are aired live and for free on Ustream by clicking on the link on the AirHogs’ home page or visiting http://www.ustream.tv/channel/airhogs-baseball with selected contests aired on Time Warner Cable’s Texas Channel. For information on tickets, promotions, advertising, and other opportunities with the AirHogs, check out the Web site at www.airhogsbaseball.com, or call the QuikTrip Park office at (972) 504-9383.