The Louisville Bats battled all the way back from an early 5-0 deficit to tie the Norfolk Tides in the ninth inning only to lose the game on a wild pitch in the twelfth inning, 6-5.
After giving up a lead-off double to Bill Hall to start the twelfth, Bats pitcher Travis Webb struck out Ryan Adams for the first out. After walking Matt Antonelli, the Bats decided to give an intentional pass to Jai Miller to load the bases. On a 1-2 pitch, Webb uncorked a wild pitch that got away from catcher Corky Miller allowing Hall to score the game winning run.
Such was the story for the Bats all afternoon. Louisville pitchers combined to walk 13 Norfolk batters and threw five wild pitches total; three by starter Andrew Brackman and two by Travis Webb, including the game-deciding pitch.
Brackman could not find the strike zone for a fourth consecutive start. Brackman recorded just three outs while giving up three runs without giving up a hit. Brackman worked out of trouble in the first after allowing two walks. He then walked three straight to start the second and was lifted for Scott Carroll.
Carroll did not fare much better as he walked the first two batters he faced to put the Bats in a 2-0 hole. Carroll then gave up an RBI single to Jamie Hoffman and a sacrifice fly to Joe Mahoney to cap a four run second inning for the Tides. Ryan Adams homered in the third to extend the lead to 5-0.
The Bats’ bullpen battled back, though. Ron Mahay (three innings), Kanekoa Texiera (one inning), and Nick Christiani (three innings) combined to go seven shutout innings allowing just five hits and two walks.
The bullpen allowed the Bats’ offense to stage the comeback which began in the sixth inning when Danny Dorn singled home Daryl Jones.
The eighth inning saw some controversy. Kristopher Negron scored when Denis Phipps reached on an error and Jones scored on Neftali Soto’s base hit to cut the Tides’ lead to 5-3. With Mike Costanzo at the plate, Phipps was picked off of second base by catcher Luis Expositio. Replay appeared to show Phipps was back safely and Bats manager David Bell was ejected for arguing the call.
Costanzo would double to lead off the ninth, leaving the Bats wondering what could have been in the eighth. Chris Valaika followed Costanzo with a single and Costanzo scored on Felix Perez’s single to center. Valaika would score three batters later when Denis Phipps legged out an infield single with the bases loaded and two out to tie the game.
Some silver lining to the loss was every position player for the Bats having at least one hit. The Bats got multi-hit performances from Jones (2-for-5) and Miller (3-for-4).
Louisville fell to 9-16 on the season. It is the Bats’ worst record in April since going 7-15 in 2010; that year, the Bats went 22-6 in June and finished 79-64, winning their third of three consecutive International League West Division Championships.
The Bats travel Durham to begin a four game series with the Bulls Tuesday night. The Bats will send Brett Tomko (0-3, 3.48 ERA) to the mound. Durham, who ended a 13-game losing streak Monday, has not announced their rotation. First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.