Akron, OH – Akron Aeros right fielder Carlos Moncrief stroked a game-winning, RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday night, to give the Aeros a thrilling, 4-3 victory over the Bowie Baysox at Canal Park.
It was a signature night for Moncrief, a 24-year-old outfield prospect from Jackson, Mississippi. He went 3-5, with singles in his final three at-bats. He also turned in the game's key defensive play when he threw out a Bowie runner at the plate in the fourth inning.
With the game knotted at 3-3 in the ninth, and Aeros runners on second and third, Moncrief worked a 2-2 count against lefty reliever Andy Loomis, fouling off three pitches in the process. On the next offering, he blasted a long single to left-center field, driving in Jose Ramirez with the winning run.
It was the eighth RBI of the season for the left-handed hitting Moncrief. Before his two hits off Loomis (0-1), Moncrief had been just 3-24 against EL lefthanders.
It was the first walk-off victory for the Aeros (14-15) this season.
Bryce Stowell (2-0) picked up the win for Akron. He tossed two scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth, allowing just a harmless hit and walk. Stowell has given up just two earned runs in 12 innings so far this season.
Earlier, in the fourth inning with the Aeros up 2-1, the Baysox loaded the bases with no one out against Paolo Espino. Aaron Baker singled to right to drive in the tying run. On the same play, Bowie's Henry Urrutia tried to score from second, but Moncrief delivered a perfect, one-hop throw to the plate to cut down the potential go-ahead run.
Espino worked 6 1/3 innings for the Aeros, but came away with a no-decision. The Aeros held a 3-2 lead into the seventh, but Buck Britton's RBi single tied the game, 3-3. Espino walked two and struck out seven.
Espino entered the game with two outs in the first following a 23-pitch rehab start by Indians relieve Blake Wood.
The Aeros scored a pair of unearned runs in the first of Bowie starter Eddie Gamboa, and took a 3-2 lead in the sixth on an RBI single by Roberto Perez.
The Aeros and Baysox will play the rubber game of the series . RHP Kevin Gausman (1-3, 3.77) will start for the Baysox, while RHP Brett Brach (1-2, 3.12) will make the start for Akron.