NORFOLK, Va. (Release via Norfolk Tides) -The Norfolk Tides (9-4) took the series opener over the Durham Bulls (4-9) with a 7-5 win on Tuesday night at Harbor Park.
Entering the bottom of the eighth trailing by a run, Johnny Rizer led off the frame by homering on the first pitch of his at-bat to tie the game at 5-5. Rylan Bannon then drew a walk and Richie Martin brought him home with a triple to give the Tides their first lead of the game. Martin would then score an important insurance run for Norfolk on Terrin Vavra’s single.
Rizer’s home run was his team-leading fifth of the season, which also ranks tied for second in the International League. Martin recorded his first three-hit game of the season, falling just a homer shy of hitting for the cycle.
Cody Sedlock was stellar in relief, tossing a season-high 4.0 scoreless innings to keep the game within reach. He allowed just three hits and struck out five batters. In his last 7.0 innings of work, Sedlock has allowed one run, while fanning 11 batters and walking just one. He earned his club-high second win of the season.
Nick Vespi shut the door in the ninth, allowing a hit and whiffing one, to earn his second save of the season.
Durham scored four times in the fourth to take a 5-1 lead, powered by back-to-back home runs from Miles Mastrobuoni and Jim Haley.
Norfolk chipped away at the deficit, with RBI-singles from Bannon and Robert Neustrom in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively, setting the table for the heroics in the eighth.
Eight of the nine Tides batters hit safely in the game, with the top three spots in the order posting multi-hit performances.
RHP Grayson Rodriguez (1-0, 2.00), MLB.com’s highest ranked pitching prospect, is slated to take the mound for Norfolk. RHP Robert Dugger (0-0, 3.38) will be on the mound for Durham, with first pitch at 6:35 p.m.
❖ HE ONLY HITS HOME RUNS: Johnny Rizer blasted his team-leading fifth home run of the season in the eighth inning, a game-tying shot. Rizer has seven total hits on the season, with home runs making up 71 percent of his hit total. His eight RBI rank tied for second on the team.
❖ (SED)LOCK DOWN: Cody Sedlock worked a season-high 4.0 innings in relief, becoming the fourth Tides reliever to reach that mark. He allowed no runs on three hits while striking out five batters. He has earned the win in relief in his second-consecutive appearance. In those two games, he has worked a total of 7.0 innings, allowing just one run on six hits, while whiffing 11 and walking one.
❖ OUR VAVRA-ITE HITTER: Terrin Vavra went 2-for-3 tonight and has now recorded a hit in 10 of 12 games this season. He also has five multi-hit performances. He has reached base safely in nine-straight contests and in 11 of 12 games this season.