Game 64: York 10, Newark 7

Kennard Jones talks about his baseball career and sounds like a wise philosopher.

He speaks about how much the game has humbled him over the years. He talks about cherishing all the opportunities he’s received. And most of all, he wants people to realize that he’s simply enjoying the ride of his life until the wheels fall off.

Don’t count on that happening anytime soon, though. The man has plenty of baseball left in the tank.

That was evident after Jones (pictured) turned in perhaps the most impressive offensive display in York Revolution history before an announced crowd of 3,336 Monday night at Sovereign Bank Stadium. The former Big Ten Player of the Year from Indiana University went 6-for-6 and belted a game-winning, three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning that gave York a 10-7 win over Newark and its fifth straight win.

Jones had been picked off base twice — once in the first inning and again in the third — earlier in the game and admitted the base-running blunders fired him up. But he got the last laugh and the first walk-off hit of his seven-year career when he launched what looked like “a beach ball” onto the picnic pavilion in right field.

“You get someone to believe in you and anything’s possible,” Jones said of his new opportunity with the Revs. “The day I got released by the Orioles (June 14), I got picked up by York and I couldn’t have been any happier. This is a night I will never forget.”

Of course, as has been the case lately, York had to rally back two separate times in the game to set the stage for Jones’ heroics. After trailing 5-1 after 3½ innings, the Revs (28-36) scored three in the bottom of the fourth to draw within a run. And after Newark tacked on another score in the sixth, Jones came around to score on Keoni De Renne’s two-run homer in the seventh that tied the game, 6-6.

The Bears, 35-28, then got a clutch, broken-bat RBI single from Randall Simon in the top of the ninth off relief pitcher Matt Trent to pull ahead by a run. But that wasn’t enough to bury York.

After pinch hitter Matt Esquivel struck out in the ninth, Jones singled up the middle and moved to third on De Renne’s double. Then after Chris Ashby was intentionally walked and Matt Padgett popped out weakly to the third baseman, Matt Dryer had a marathon at-bat against Newark reliever J.J. Trujillo and lined an RBI single into left field that tied the game.

Unfortunately for York, De Renne committed a baserunning blunder and didn’t score from second on the play because he thought the game was tied at the time. That ended up hurting York briefly when Jason Aspito popped out to end the ninth. But the mental mistake didn’t end up costing York in the end. The Revs improved to 5-21 all-time against Newark and are one win away from tying a franchise high winning streak.

“Dude, that guy struck me out in every at-bat I’ve ever faced him,” Dryer said of his history against Trujillo. “When the guys came here (Dryer was inactive for two weeks while dealing with a family illness at home) there was all this energy and it was like the switch was turned on or something.”

Monday night’s win also marked the 11th comeback win in York’s last 21 victories — including four comeback wins on the five-game win streak. To manager Chris Hoiles, it’s a sign his ballclub is turning the corner.

“What I like about this team is the game is never over,” Hoiles said. “They fight to the very end and we’re making adjustments while the at-bat is still going on. A lot of guys have done that and that’s the reason we’re hitting the ball so well.”

Notes: Luis Taveras was called out for runner’s interference after making contact with shortstop Ramon Castro in the 10th inning. He was ejected from the game for arguing the call but Jones homered in the very next at-bat. … Frank Castillo started for York and lasted four innings, giving up five earned runs. … York has won eight of 10 games and will try to tie its franchise-best win streak tonight with Brooks Robinson in attendance. Robinson will be honored as the third baseman of the “All-Time Rawlings Gold Glove Team.”

*John Pavoncello photos.

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2 Responses

  1. From where I watched the game Keoni didn’t make a “base running” blunder. He had the STOP sign from the 3rd base coach Sam Snider. The STOP was up before he ever got to 3rd base. We were all in dibelief that Snider didn’t send him.

  2. I agree with you. Had De Renne rounded the base hard, he might have been held up anyway by Snider.

    But from what I saw, De Renne broke into a jog before he even reached third and had his hand up in the air with his head down. Chris Hoiles admitted De Renne did not know the situation. But you can argue the Revs wouldn’t have even been in that position without De Renne’s homer in the seventh.

    Luckily for York, all of it didn’t matter.

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