NORFOLK, Va.- Mike Yastrzemski’s two-run double helped Norfolk rally for a 4-3, 12-inning walk-off win over the Durham Bulls Sunday afternoon at Harbor Park.
Durham had taken a one-run lead in the top of the 12th frame on a solo home run by Patrick Leonard, but Yastrzemski’s heroics in the bottom half of the frame helped Norfolk avoid a three-game sweep. Logan Schafer ignited the game-winning rally with a one-out single off of Andrew Kittredge (0-1) before Johnny Giavotella worked a walk to put runners on first and second. Yastrzemski then lined a shot into the right-center field gap, plating a hustling Giavotella from first base just ahead of the relay throw to give Norfolk a 4-3 victory.
Yastrzemski reached base twice in the marathon, which saw 12 pitchers combine for 18 strikeouts and 11 walks in a game that took three hours and 48 minutes to complete. Making his Tides debut after being signed as a free agent by Baltimore on April 5th, Norfolk starter Edwin Jackson allowed one run on three hits over three innings of work. Jackson, a veteran of 361 big league games and an All-Star with Detroit in 2009, walked one and struck out two while throwing 25 of his 48 pitches for strikes. The only run he allowed came in the third, when Mallex Smith doubled home Jake Hager to pull the Bulls within 2-1.
Richard Bleier turned in an outstanding effort in relief, as he faced the minimum over three innings. Making his first appearance with Norfolk since being optioned from Baltimore, Bleier allowed just one hit and struck out a pair as he lowered his ERA to 0.75 (1 ER, 12.0 IP) in six appearances with the Tides this season. The Tides jumped out to an early lead against Bulls starter and Old Dominion product Ryan Yarbrough, as Robert Andino plated Yastrzemski with a first inning single for an early 1-0 advantage. Norfolk added an unearned run against Yarbrough in the second frame when Schafer scored on a two-out passed ball by Curt Casali.
Yarbrough, who played two seasons at ODU, went 5.1 innings in the contest, allowing three hits and three walks while striking out six. The Bulls knotted the score at 2-2 in the eighth inning on an RBI single by Curt Casali off of Scott McGough.