The Louisville Bats exploded for eight runs in the late innings Saturday night en route to a 9-2 drubbing of the Norfolk Tides.
The Bats came to bat in the seventh inning with the game tied at a run a piece. Mike Costanzo walked and Paul Janish was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Bill Rhinehart singled home Costanzo to give the Bats a 2-1 lead. Two batters later, Kristopher Negron walked to load the bases. Felix Perez, who pinch ran for Janish, scored on Chris Valaika’s sacrifice fly. Rhinehart then scored on a fielding error by Steve Tolleson. Two batters later, Neftali Soto blasted a two-run double to right field, capping a six run inning that gave the Bats a 7-1 lead.
Corky Miller got in on the action with a two-run home run in the eighth that made it 9-1. Louisville, for the second straight game, was on the board first when Mike Costanzo blasted a solo shot in the second. It was Costanzo’s second homer in as many games and his second multi-hit game in as many games.
Sean Gallagher started for the Bats and was incredible, going seven innings giving up just two runs on four hits and striking out eight. Gallagher gave up a leadoff home run in the sixth to Ryan Adams. Gallagher pitched into the eighth but failed to record an out in the inning and was lifted after an RBI single by Scott Beerer. It was the second straight game a Bats starter has pitched into the eighth inning.
Saturday night was the first time the Bats have scored more than four runs since losing to Toledo 13-9 on April 18.
The two teams hook up for game three of the four game set Sunday afternoon at 1:15. Chad Reineke (1-0, 4.57 ERA) will take the mound for Louisville (9-14). He will be opposed by Chris Tillman (2-2, 3.50 ERA) of Norfolk (7-14).