By Anthony Caruso III
Posted: June 27th, 2011 at 3:20 AM EST
Camden – The Atlantic League Road Warriors were sent home in walk-off fashion.
The Road Warriors, who play all their games on the road, gave the Riversharks their best shot. But it wasn’t enough in the end.
The Camden Riversharks were able to defeat the Road Warriors, 6-5, yesterday afternoon at Campbell’s Field.
The Riversharks won two out of the three games in the three-game set. The Road Warriors won in blowout fashion on Friday night.
This is the fourth time the Riversharks has had a two-game win streak at home this season. It is also their third walk-off win of the season.
Now, the Riversharks head on the road to the Somerset Patriots and the York Revolution, before returning on July 5th.
The game came down to the bottom of the 11th inning. The Riversharks had Lloyd Turner on first base, with Raúl Padrón coming up to bat.
Padrón had the biggest hit of the game. Padrón’s walk-off, RBI double scored the winning-run in the bottom of the 11th inning.
“Raul has been swinging the bat well for us,” said Riversharks manager Von Hayes. “We didn’t want him to pull the ball. We knew they were going to pitch to him to make him go the other way. So, it paid off for us.”
Padrón’s heroics gave former Big Leaguer Mike Koplove the win. He pitched a scoreless 11th inning to improve to 2-1 on the season.
Adam Thomas picked up the loss after giving up the RBI double to Padrón. He dropped to 1-4 on the season and pitched 1 1/3 innings, but allowed that one earned run.
The Riversharks had an opportunity in the bottom of the 10th inning to end the game. The Riversharks had bases loaded with 1 out. But the Road Warriors got out of the inning without allowing any Riversharks to score.
“That was just a situation, where we had bases loaded,” said Hayes. “We were going to squeeze there with the second pitch, but we swung at the first pitch, so we didn’t get it done. It’s a cat-and-mouse game at times.”
After allowing runs up until the 5th inning, it was a pitchers duel from there on out until the 11th inning. Both teams combined to use 9 pitchers, but nobody could score.
Riversharks pitcher J.R. Mathes went 6 innings, while his counterpart Chris Mason only went 4 innings. After that, both bullpens were used a lot.
“Well, to tell you the truth, I don’t think he felt his best,” said Hayes. “He has pitched better in the past. He had trouble locating his fastball. He usually throws that between 88-90 (mph), but (yesterday), I don’t believe he got up there. He battled, but left a couple of pitches up. He gave up those two home runs, but other than that, we got 6 innings out of him. He gave us an opportunity to win the game.”
For the Riversharks, Mumba Rivera went an inning, as did Jay Marshall. Brian Stokes pitched two innings, prior to Mike Koplove pitching an inning.
For the Road Warriors, Brian McCullough went 2 2/3 innings, then former Big Leaguer Saul Rivera came in for 2 1/3 innings. After Rivera, Thomas came in.
In the top of the 5th inning, the Road Warriors tied the game. With two outs already in the inning, Michael Mooney hit a shot over the outfield wall.
Mooney hit a three-run home run. Jonel Pacheco and Marcos Cabral also scored on the home-run.
“Mooney and Jordan hit the two balls that Mathes left out and over the plate,” said Hayes. “They took full advantage of them. Both guys hit the ball pretty darn good.”
In the bottom of the 2nd inning, Pedro Felíz added to his RBI total. Felíz knocked in two with an RBI double.
Turner and Padrón scored on the Felíz RBI double.
“I’ve been wanting to play,” said Feliz. “It was an easy decision to come to this team. I was able to have guys on base when I came up to bat in the first two innings. I was able to connect on the ball and score three runs early.”
Feliz has 17 RBI’s for the Riversharks this season in 37 games. But in the first two games of the season, he was struggling, going 0-for-6. However, yesterday’s game, he went 2-for-5.
“I’ve been working hard and I’ve been trying to get my swing back,” said Feliz.
After the Riversharks got out to the three-run lead, the Road Warriors struck right back. With two outs in the top of the 2nd inning, Daniel Jordan put his team back into the game.
Jordan hit a J.R. Mathes, Riversharks pitcher, over the left-center wall for a home run. Jordan and Luís Niéblas scored on the home run.
The Riversharks got out to an early lead. Two former Major Leaguers helped the Riversharks get out to the bottom of the 1st inning lead.
A few batters later, former Big Leaguer Toby Hall scored in Felíz to make it 3-0.
After the Felíz RBI hit, Noah Hall knocked in Padrón to make it 2-0. Felíz picked up the first RBI when Lloyd Turner scored to make it 1-0.
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