Never pitch to Rixon Wingrove in “close and late” games. He is known as “Mr Walk-off” for his late inning heroics in the Australian Baseball League. We watched him walk-off single earlier in the Clearwater Threshers’ season. He did his thing last night again. This time, against the Dunedin Blue Jays.
It wasn’t a walk-off but it was a clutch, frozen rope, Wingrove base hit in the top of the eight inning that set up the Threshers first run in the game. Rix scored the winning run in the inning on a Baron Ratcliff sacrifice fly which resulted in the 2-1 win.
The Blue Jays held a 1-0 lead going into the top of the eighth inning. The Threshers had only one hit in the previous 14 innings against Jays pitching after a seven inning no-hitter pitched against them the night before.
To start the eighth inning, Kendall Simmons was hit by a pitch and advanced to third base on the Wingrove base hit. Kendall scored the first run on a wild pitch which advanced Wingrove to third.
Another story in the game was the three Phillies pitchers who allowed only one run and struck out 15.
Matt Russell, showing a 94 mph fastball, made his first start going four shutout innings striking out five with no walks. He had pitched eight games in relief after signing a free agent contract with the Phillies back in July.
Rodolfo Sanchez pitched the next four innings allowing only one run on three hits striking out eight and walking one. He got his first win of the season. His fastball sat at 93 MPH.
An eight round 2021 draft pick Jason Ruffcorn pitch the ninth to get the save striking out two. His fastball was sitting at 92 mph on the scoreboard.
It was good baseball all around with good pitching and timely hitting in the 2-1 Threshers win. If I had a choice for a batter in any “close and late” game, it would be big Rix Wingrove every time. Last night he showed once again he is “clutch” when the game is on the line.