Fielding misadventures plague 51s in 13th inning

The Nashville Sounds entered Sunday with an 0-76 record over the last two years in games in which they trailed after eight innings.

That winless distinction didn’t survive the afternoon.

Nashville rallied to beat the 51s 7-5 at Cashman Field, scoring twice in the ninth inning to tie the game and winning it with two runs in the 13th.

The Sounds’ surge complete a comeback from a 5-0 deficit after five innings.

Speedster Mel Stocker singled to open the 13th, advance on a sacrifice bunt, stole third and scored the go-ahead run on a grounder to first by Laynce Nix. 51s first baseman John Lindsey fielded the ball cleanly and looked home before throwing to second to try to start a 3-6-3 double play, but Nix was safe at first.

“I don’t know if we get (Stocker) at home, but we’re pretty sure we don’t get a double play,” Las Vegas manager Lorenzo Bundy said. “Stocker’s a fast runner, but we have to take a shot at him at home. A couple mistakes in a close ballgame like this is how you end up losing.”

Lindsey said he should’ve thrown home.

“At the time I thought I had a better chance at turning two than getting him, because I knew that kid could fly,” Lindsey said. “But after talking with some of the guys, it’s a do-or-die situation. If I don’t get him, at least I tried to get him at home.”

Brad Nelson drilled an RBI double for the final margin.

Another 51s fielding mistake resulted in Stocker’s delayed steal of third. He broke for the bag as catcher Kelley Gulledge, in his first Triple-A start, threw the ball back to pitcher Mike Koplove, whose throw to third was too late.

“A more experienced guy would have walked (Stocker) back to second rather than have him out there in no man’s land,” Bundy said. “It’s a tough situation. It was the first game Gully caught for us and it was kind of a long day for him.”

With Nashville trailing 5-3 in the ninth, pinch hitter Abraham Nunez led off with a single, took second and third on wild pitches by Brian Falkenborg and scored on Steve Sollmann’s sacrifice fly.

Nix then singled, took second on Falkenborg’s third wild pitch and scored on a triple to deep center field by Nelson.

The blown save was Falkenborg’s third.

The 51s (19-18) had plenty of chances, putting their leadoff man on base and stranding a runner at third in the eighth, ninth and 10th innings.

The 51s scored four runs in the fifth to take a 5-0 lead, getting a two-run double by Terry Tiffee and a two-run homer by Andy LaRoche.

Tiffee extended his hit streak to 18 games by going 2-for-6, though his Pacific Coast League-leading average fell to .439. He also leads the league with 68 hits and 21 doubles.

Luis Maza, who singled before scoring on Tiffee’s double, has hit safely in 25 of his last 26 games. He went 3-for-6 to lift his average to .402.

The Sounds (14-22) scored three in the sixth on a two-run homer by Russell Branyan and a solo shot by Brendan Katin.

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