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River Cats Overwhelm Royals in the 10th

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The Sacramento River Cats defeated the Omaha Royals 5-4 Saturday night, recovering from a two-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game and go into the extra inning that led to their victory.

In the second inning, third baseman Adrian Cardenas broke the ice for the Cats with a bunt to third base for a single. Omaha starting pitcher Blaine Hardy walked Sacramento right-fielder Mike Taylor, and with two on base allowed Jared Price to smash one in the left outfield corner, bringing in Taylor and Cardenas for a 2-0 Cats lead.

It was looking good for the Cats until the sixth inning. Cats starting pitcher John Halama was leading the way, throwing a no-hitter thus far, protecting the Cats’ early 2-0 lead.

It was Omaha center fielder Jarrod Dyson who broke Halama’s pitching streak, just barely making it to first with an impressive sprint. He was followed around the bases by Omaha’s David Lough, after getting beaned by Halama. A single from Mike Moustakas allowed Dyson to zip home and Halama walked short stop Ed Lucas to load the bases for Omaha. There was another run from Omaha to tie the game 2-2 and the Cats brought in Jessup James to relieve Halama.

In the seventh inning, Omaha scored two more. James allowed a single to Jordan Parraz and a double to Irving Falu. With the score tied and Omaha on third and second base, tension mounted. James managed to strike out Dyson but allowed David Lough a double, giving Omaha a 4-2 lead.

Omaha started throwing heat with the help of the 5-foot-7 Tim Collins, and the Cats decided to try another pitcher as they swapped James for the 6-foot-9 Jon Hunton.

Trailing by two in the bottom of the ninth, the Cats got to work. Matt Carson zinged one up the center for a single, Eric Sogard got a walk, and Jeff Baisley cracked one into left field, bringing in Carson. A wild pitch in the dirt from Collins allowed Sogard to steal home, tying the game 4-4.

The Cats sealed the win in the 10th. Pitcher Michael Benacka shut down Omaha in the top of the inning and Omaha relief pitcher Josh Rupe couldn’t keep up. An error-fueled double from Conor Jackson, a walk for Matt Carson, and an intentional walk for Eric Sogard loaded the bases and for the second time that night, Baisley popped one over second base, bringing in the win for Sacramento.

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