Ray Hernandez had four hits and drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning to lead the New York Boulders past the Washington Wild Things in a 6-5 win on Saturday night.
The leading run was scored on Hernandez’s fourth hit and was one of three RBIs he had on the day. New York had tied the game earlier in the inning when Kevonte Mitchell grounded into a double play allowing Milton Smith Jr. to score. Ryan Ramiz then walked and stole second to put the winning run in scoring position for Herandez.
Hernandez, who is known more for his power than contact hitting, flipped the script tonight with four singles, reaching base on every plate appearance.
New York got to Washington starter Ryan Hennen early, scoring in the first inning for the third time in four games. Hennen, who came into the day leading the Frontier League in ERA, was able to settle in after the opening frame, but not after the Boulders lineup did some sizable damage.
The first run came on a home run by Milton Smith Jr. over the right field wall. The homer was the first of Smith’s professional career, after over 140 games and 480 at bats, including 167 this season with the Boulders.
Two more runs were added later in the inning when Hernandez singled with two outs to left field. Hernandez was then brought home on a single by Gian Martellini to put the Boulders ahead 4-0.
Washington didn’t score in bunches, but slowly chiseled away at the New York lead. Their first two runs came on solo homers, one by Andrew Czech to lead off the top of the third, and another by Grant Heyman in the fourth. Nick Ward then hit an RBI-double in the top of the fifth to bring the Wild Things within one.
All three of those runs were scored on Alex Mack who made his first start for the Boulders, giving up six hits and two walks while striking out two through five innings.
Washington tied things up when Heyman scored on a wild pitch by Boulder's reliever Alex Carillo, and took their first lead on a two-out RBI-double by Scotty Dubrule in the top of the seventh, before New York came rolling back in the bottom of the frame.
The Boulder’s bullpen shut down Washington’s lineup in the last two innings, with Luke Burton pitching the eighth inning, striking out two, and Tanner Kiest earning the save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
James Mulry picked up the win after getting the last out of the seventh inning for New York.
The Boulders will try to take their third of four against Washington tomorrow in the final game of the series at Palisades Credit Union Park