LEFTIES: Walk-off win over Nanaimo opens Port Angeles homestand

  • By Thomas Johnson Port Angeles Lefties
  • Friday, July 5, 2024 7:30am
  • SportsLefties

PORT ANGELES — The ball should have been caught. The throw should have been made. The tag should have been on.

But as the sun was setting Wednesday night at Civic Field, the Lefties were only getting stronger against the Nanaimo NightOwls.

With Yahir Ramirez (Texas A&M Corpus Christi) standing at first after a fielder’s choice, Jeremy Giesegh (Cal State San Bernardino) came up the plate in a 3-3 game in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Giesegh slapped it into left-center field, a ball that seemed destined to fall into the glove of center fielder Deshon Thomas (Arizona Christian University), but Thomas couldn’t corral it after a long run from his starting position to give Giesegh his second hit of the game.

After the ball hit the ground, Ramirez had barely rounded second base but began to leg it toward third as Thomas went to retrieve the ball. By the time Thomas threw it back into the infield, Ramirez was only halfway down the third-base line.

Ramirez was dead to rights.

The speedy shortstop didn’t let up though, completing his run to the plate as the throw skipped before it reached catcher Kurt Felix (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo). All Ramirez had to do was slide in. Game over. Port Angeles wins 4-3.

“I saw that wave and I was like, ‘We’re getting on our horse and we’re scoring,’” Ramirez said postgame.

It was the conclusion to a completely back-and-forth affair that saw the game tied at three different points before the Lefties pulled out the walk-off winner.

Seven strikeouts

The NightOwls scored an unearned run in the first frame to start the scoring off, but Lefties starter Jackson Price was nearly spotless after that point, tossing six innings and only giving up one earned run for his first quality start of the year.

The righty from Hillsboro, Ore., struck out a personal-best seven batters on the evening, breaking his previous record of three punchouts.

The Lefties plated one in the third off an RBI double from Roberto Garza-Nunez (Embry-Riddle University) for his 12th RBI of the West Coast League season. Port Angeles took its first lead of the game in the fourth when Julio Vasquez Jr. (Henderson State) came around to score to give the home side a slim 2-1 lead.

Even though the NightOwls tied it up in the sixth, the Lefties showed their mettle as Jack Kleveno (University of Utah) scored on a groundout.

Port Angeles wouldn’t score again until the bottom of the ninth, but Ramirez touched home plate when it mattered most to give his team the win.

“We got to kick off the home opener with a walkoff, the fans were into it, couldn’t ask for a better night,” Ramirez said.

The bullpen for Port Angeles was nails all night, not allowing a single earned run across three innings between four pitchers. Riley Ricken (Cal State San Bernardino) was on the mound for the ninth frame, earning himself his first win in league play.

Port Angeles (6-19) hosts Bellingham tonight at 6:35 p.m.

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