Quebec Capitales 7/30/12
Abercrombie hits walk-off homer in debut
SIOUX FALLS – Reggie Abercrombie collected four hits in his season debut for the Sioux Falls Pheasants, and none was bigger than his walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning that propelled the Pheasants to a 5-4 win over the Quebec Capitales on Monday night.
With two outs and nobody on, the former big leaguer launched the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the 11th well clear of the left field fence to give the Pheasants their first interleague victory in team history.
Listen to Abercrombie's walk off home run: 2012_0730_Abercrombie_walk_off_home_run.MP3
“I was looking for a fastball, because that’s all they threw tonight,” said Abercrombie of his game-winning at-bat against Guillaume Leduc (1-2). “I saw about one curveball tonight, so I just looked to get a head on it. I was fortunate to hit it out. I’m pretty happy about it.”
The Pheasants (31-37) took the opener of a four-game series at Sioux Falls Stadium in their first interleague contest in team history, toppling the CanAm League’s top team.
With the Pheasants trailing 1-0 in the first inning, Abercrombie made an immediate contribution in his first at-bat. He lined a single to right field that scored both Cory Morales and Jared Bolden, thanks in part to a fielding error. He then scored on Cesar Nicolas’ RBI double for a 3-1 lead. Abercrombie finished 4-for-6 with two runs scored, a home run and two RBI.
Listen to Abercrombie's RBI single: 2012_0730_Abercrombie_RBI_single.MP3
Listen to Nicolas' RBI double: 2012_0730_Nicolas_RBI_double.MP3
Quebec (44-24) regained the lead with a three-run rally in the sixth inning off Pheasants’ starter Rod Scurry, capped by Ryan Leveret’s two-run single. Scurry allowed four run in 5 2/3 innings to take a no-decision.
Jake Taylor hit a clutch, two-out single in the eighth inning that plated Nicolas and tied the game 4-4. 2012_0730_Taylor_game-tying_single.MP3
A trio of Pheasants relievers was brilliant. Tom Heithoff, Dan Cooper and Kyle Mertins (2-0) combined for 5 1/3 perfect innings, backed by sparkling defensive plays. Mertins pitched the 10th and 11th innings for his second win and lowered his miniscule season ERA to 0.99.
Abercrombie, a former big leaguer, spent all of 2010-2011 with the Pheasants before signing with the Triple-A Mexican League this season. He was re-signed to the Sioux Falls club on Monday afternoon prior to the game.
“I just go out here to have fun. That’s what we need,” said Abercrombie. “Like I told my teammates, ‘Play this game for fun.’ Once you get that confidence, it’s a wonderful game.”
The second game of the series is at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday, July 31, at Sioux Falls Stadium. It’s Double Play Tuesday. Tickets are 2-for-1. “Kids FREE” also continues. With the purchase of an adult ticket ($12 seating), two tickets for children 12-and-under are free.