First-place Wild Things score 4 in 10th, beat Schaumburg

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SCHAUMBURG, Ill. – Designated hitter Jose Dore hit a tiebreaking double in the top of the 10th inning and the Wild Things went on to defeat the Schaumburg Boomers 5-1 Wednesday night in the opener of a three-game series.


Washington scored four runs in the top of the 10th against Schaumburg relief pitcher Dexter Price (3-5) with Dore’s double to left field driving home Garrett Rau and giving the Wild Things a 2-1 lead. Jim Vahalik moved to third base on Dore’s double, and both players scored when Danny Poma hit a single through a drawn-in infield.


After Ryan Kresky walked and a double steal, C.J. Beatty lofted a sacrifice fly that scored Poma for a 4-1 Washington lead.


The win extended Washington’s lead in the Frontier League’s East Division to 1 1/2 games over idle Evansville. Southern Illinois defeated Windy City, 9-4, to remain two games back in third place.


Schaumburg had taken a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth by scoring an unearned run. The Boomers loaded the bases with no outs against Washington starting pitcher Zac Fuesser, but a home-to-first double play put the Wild Things on the verge of escaping unscathed. However, an error on an infield ground ball allowed Schaumburg to score the game’s first run.


Washington tied the score at 1-1 in the fifth when Rau doubled, advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Vahalik and scored on a sacrifice fly by Dore.


Matt Purnell (5-1) pitched the ninth inning to get the win. Fuesser pitched seven innings, allowing four hits, three walks and one unearned run. He lowered his league-leading ERA to 1.65.


Prior to the game, Washington announced the hiring of Andrew Heck as the team’s first-base coach. Heck is a former Wild Things player (2012-13) and is the head coach at Sewickley Academy. He guided the Panthers to the WPIAL Class A playoffs in each of two seasons and to the PIAA playoffs for the first time in school history this spring.


Washington also signed left-handed pitcher Christopher O’Hare, a 2013 draft pick of the Philadelphia Phillies. O’Hare pitched in 12 games for Class A Lakewood and one game for short-season Williamsport this year.


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