66ers win a thriller, 6-5 in 14 innings

Matt Long’s third hit of the game, a line single with one out in the 14th, scored Kole Calhoun from second base as the 66ers defeated Lake Elsinore 6-5. It completed a four-game sweep for the Sixers (22-27) before 3,084 at Arrowhead Credit Union Park. It was their first sweep of any kind this season, their first four-game winning streak of the season and their first four-game sweep of Lake Elsinore since 2006.

It was also the Sixers’ longest game of the season in terms of innings. They are 2-2 in extra inning games, all of which have been at home.

Long also hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning that tied the score, 4-4. But Long was just the last of many heroes in the game for the Sixers, which included:

The bullpen of Michael Piazza, Mike Kenney, David Carpenter, Kevin Johnson, Buddy Boshers and Kevin Nabors, who combined to pitch 11 innings of relief and allowed just one run. Nabors (1-1), who entered the game with a 24.55 ERA, came into the game with two outs in the top of the 14th to face Jedd Gyorko, who is third in the league in batting, tied for second in home runs. With runners on first and third, Nabors got Gyorko to ground out to third.

“I told him, ‘you’re going to get the final out and we’re going to score and you’re going to get the win,'” Sixers manager Tom Gamboa said. “I’m glad we did.”

Another hero was Steven Irvine, in his first game back with the Sixers, singled with two outs in the ninth inning to drive in Adam Younger (who had doubled) and tie the score 5-5. Irvine finished 3 for 6.

In the 14th, Calhoun drew a one-out walk against Dustin Pease (0-3), his fourth walk of the game. Casey Haerther’s infield single sent Calhoun to second. With a runner on second base in both the 10th and 12th innings, Long was intentionally walked and the Sixers didn’t score. This time there was no base open and Long lined a single to right and Calhoun avoided the tag of catcher Jason Hagerty to set off the wild celebration.

“He (Long) is a streaky hitter. It looks like he’s in one of those good streaks again,” Gamboa said.