Three-Run Ninth Charges Nashville Past New Orleans

Sounds2The Sounds saved their best for last, putting up a trio of runs in the ninth inning on Saturday night at Zephyr Field and defeating New Orleans 4-2 in the series opener.

The Sounds had been 0-22 when trailing after eight innings, but busted through for a big ninth inning and improved to 27-29 on the season.

Nate Freiman and Bryan Anderson started the rally with back-to-back singles. Alden Carrithers moved the runners ahead with a sacrifice bunt and Niuman Romero reached when he was intentionally walked. With the bags packed, Anthony Aliotti stepped in and busted his fourth hit of the night to tie things up. Craig Gentry tilted the contest back in Nashville’s favor, getting hit on the first pitch of his at-bat to allow Anderson to score. Joey Wendle concluded the charge with an RBI groundout and capped the biggest comeback of the season for Nashville.

The win was the fourth come-from-behind victory for the Sounds this season, and it also extended Nashville’s road winning streak to a season-best five games. The win was rooted in a terrific pitching effort from Zach Neal though.

Neal spun another terrific outing, tossing eight innings on just 73 pitches in his fifth start with the Sounds. The eight frames tied a season high for Neal, who surrendered two runs on six hits. It marked his third consecutive quality start and gave him his team-leading fifth win.

Ryan Cook had a touch of trouble in the ninth inning, but got the job done for the visitors. The reliever’s fifth save this season helped boost the bullpen’s save total to 5-for-5 over the last 10 games.

Nashville outhit New Orleans, 12-6, and was led by Aliotti. It was the first four-hit game of the year for the first baseman and it upped his average to .292. Freiman and Gentry both had multi-hit games tos help the Sounds steal the series opener.

The two teams are back at it again Sunday afternoon with a 1:00 p.m. contest. The Sounds will turn to Brad Mills (2-6, 3.75) and the Zephyrs will counter with Justin Nicolino.