Trailing 1-0 going into the bottom of the ninth, Joey Wendle started the rally when he drew a walk off Aces closer Jimmy Sherfy who came into the game having converted all 25 of his save opportunities in 2016.
Rangel Ravelo moved Wendle to second with a sacrifice bunt. He stayed there when Sherfy struck out pinch-hitter Colin Walsh for the second out of the inning.
It set up Alcantara who drilled a 2-1 pitch deep beyond the right field wall for the game-winner. One night after Bryan Anderson hit the first grand slam by a Sounds player at First Tennessee Park, Alcantara’s blast provided the first walk-off home run.
It was a special night at the park as the Sounds welcomed the 1,000,000th fan through the gates of First Tennessee Park. Over 565,000 fans passed through the gates in the inaugural season last year and nearly 440,000 have attended Sounds games this year through 62 home games.
It looked bleak for Nashville as Reno starter Anthony Banda struck out a season-high 10 over six innings. Prior to Alcantara’s blast, the Sounds went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Sounds starter Raul Alcantara was equally as impressive. The 23-year-old shut out the Aces over five innings and limited them to one hit. In five starts with Nashville, Alcantara has allowed a total of two earned runs in 30 2/3 innings.
Eduard Santos relieved Alcantara in the sixth and the Aces took advantage when the right-handed issued a leadoff walk to Carlos Rivero. Dan Rohlfing sacrificed Rivero to second and Mitch Haniger drove him in with a two-out double to left.
The 1-0 lead held until Alcantara’s heroics in the ninth. It’s the ninth walk-off win of the season for the Sounds who improved to a season-high 19 games over .500 at 70-51. They hold an 11-game lead over second place Round Rock with 23 games left in the regular season.
Alcantara, Wendle and Jaycocb Brugman had multi-hit games for Nashville. Bobby Wahl, who struck out the side in the top of the ninth, picked up the win in relief.
Game three of the four-game series is set for Sunday night at First Tennessee Park. Right-hander Chris Jensen (2-5, 4.23) starts for the Sounds against right-hander Matt Koch (0-2, 2.51) for the Aces. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
The 2016 season is the Sounds’ 19th year in the Pacific Coast League and their second as the Oakland Athletics’ top affiliate. Tickets are available now by calling (615) 690-4487 or by visiting www.nashvillesounds.com.