After going three days without playing, the Tacoma Rainiers made up for the lack of game action by playing a little longer at Cheney Stadium on Thursday.
How much longer? Five extra innings, to be exact. And just when it seemed like another five more innings would be needed to break the tie, Tommy Everidge ended the 14-inning marathon, crushing a two-run homer to left field to give the Rainiers an 8-6 win over the Reno Aces.
It was the sixth time that the Rainiers have played a 14-inning game since 2005.
The Rainiers got a one-out single from Chris Woodward off of reliever Jose Marte in the 14th, bringing Everidge to the plate.
Everidge, who has plenty of power, had yet to hit a home run this season. So his first homer as a Rainier was timely, ending the 4 hour, 10 minute contest.
Brian Sweeney (1-0) picked up a well-earned win in relief, pitching 4 scoreless innings allowing three hits while striking seven hitters and walking one.
Tacoma held a 4-2 lead going into the ninth inning. Manager Daren Brown brought in Levale Speigner to close it out, but he gave up a lead-off single to Pedro Ciriaco, then Carlos Corporan followed with a long home run to right-center to tie the game.
Reno took the lead later in the ninth as Doug Deeds doubled to right-center and scored on third baseman Jack Hannahan’s throwing error.
It was the fourth time the Rainiers had blown a lead in the ninth inning this season.
But Hannahan got himself a little redemption in the bottom of the ninth.
Ezequiel Carrera drew a lead-off walk from Reno reliever T.J. Beam. Josh Wilson bunted Carerra into scoring position. Beam struck out Michael Saunders looking, but Hannahan came through with two outs, ripping a sharp single into right field, scoring Carrera easily and tying the game at 5.
The Rainiers got a solid effort from starting pitcher David Pauley. The right-hander pitched six strong innings, allowing one run on three hits, while striking out five and walking one.
He left the game with the Rainiers leading 2-1 and was replaced by Steven Shell.
Shell gave up a leadoff single and an RBI double to tie the game. And just when it looked as though he might get out of the inning, first baseman Mike Carp bobbled a ground ball, then fired wildly to home on a play at the plate as Reno went up, 3-2.
The Rainiers answered in the bottom of the inning as Ramon Vazquez delivered a one-out single and Carrera beat out an infield single. Wilson drove in one run with an RBI single and then Carrera scooted home on a wild pitch to give Tacoma a 4-3 lead.
The Rainiers will send left-hander Garrett Olson (1-1, 3.14 ERA) and the Aces will go with right-hander Kevin Mulvey (0-1, 4.05 ERA) at 7 p.m. today.