Nashville, TN – Chad Pinder hit a walk-off two-run single in the bottom of the 12th inning to give the Nashville Sounds a thrilling 7-6 win over the Round Rock Express in front of 6,104 fans Tuesday night at First Tennessee Park.
The win extended the season-long winning streak to nine games for the Sounds who have won 16 of their last 17 games. It also pushed Nashville’s American South Division lead to 3.5 games over the Express.
Trailing 6-5 going to the bottom of the 12th, Max Muncy started the rally when he drew a walk off of Carlos Fisher. The right-hander bounced back and retired the next two hitters to put the game on the shoulders of Ryon Healy.The Sounds’ first baseman answered when he ripped a double down the left field line. It looked like Muncy would easily score from first, but he tripped on the third base bag and had to quickly retreat to the base.
Round Rock elected to intentionally walk Matt Olson to load the bases for Pinder. The shortstop hit a 2-1 pitch down the right field line to score Muncy and Healy with the tying and winning run.
Nashville trailed for the better part of the game. A solo homer from Renato Nunez trimmed the deficit to 3-2 in the sixth, and Bruce Maxwell’s RBI groundout evened the game at 3-3 in the seventh.
With the game still tied in the bottom of the ninth, Olson rifled a double down the right field line to give Nashville a lead off base runner. They failed to score him as Pinder and Joey Wendle struck out, and Jaycob Brugman flied to center after Maxwell drew a walk.
The bad fortune continued immediately in the top of the 10th when James Jones sliced a double down the left field line for Round Rock.
Delino DeShields dropped down a bunt which pitcher Tucker Healy threw into left field trying to cut down Jones at third. The runner scored to give Round Rock a 4-3 lead. The next batter, Drew Robinson, doubled to drive in DeShields to make it 5-3.
Andrew Faulkner was called on to work the bottom of the 10th for Round Rock. He struck out Muncy before he walked Nunez and allowed a single to Andrew Lambo.
Faulkner came back to strike out Ryon Healy but Olson sent a two-out, two-strike, two-run double to the right-center gap that scored Nunez and Lambo to knot the game at 5-5.
It remained 5-5 until Brett Nicholas singled home Robinson in the top of the 12th. It looked like Round Rock would escape with the win until Nashville’s rally in the home half of the frame.
With the win, the Sounds finished the month of May with a 22-8 record. The only other professional team with that many wins in May was the Double-A Akron Aeros who matched the number.
Game two of the four-game series is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at First Tennessee Park. Right-hander Angel Castro (0-2, 5.68) starts for the Sounds against left-hander Michael Roth (4-1, 1.69). First pitch is set for 12:05pm.
The 2016 season is the Sounds’ 19th year in the Pacific Coast League and their second as the Oakland Athletics’ top affiliate. Tickets are available now by calling 615.690.4487 or by visiting www.nashvillesounds.com