Medford, OR--The Portland Pickles simply refused to accept defeat on Tuesday night in Medford. Trailing the Rogues 10-6 entering the ninth inning and facing a playoff exit, the Pickles rallied for six runs in the top of the ninth to survive and live to see another day. Alec Leighton's first home run of the season put the Pickles up 12-10, their first lead of the night, and they held on for the victory by the same margin.
Leighton got the Pickles offense started with an RBI double in the third inning. Joey Cooper hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning, and Matt Hardy hit a home run in the fifth inning. After Leighton singled in another run in the eighth, Tate Budnick doubled home two in the ninth, Cooper hit a sacrifice fly, and Daniel Lopez tied the game with an RBI single later in the ninth, setting up Leighton's homer. Both Leighton and Cooper finished with four RBIs each on the night.
Max Jones started for the Pickles, and went two innings, allowing four earned runs. Matt Hardy gutted out the win, giving the Pickles 2.2 innings out of relief, allowing one run and striking out four batters.
Jake Hellweg and Clay Valenzuela-Reece both had four hits for the Rogues, with Hellweg hitting a home run and driving in three. Johnny De La Cruz finished with three hits, and Dante Gutierrez drove in two runs.
Scotty Wright started the game for Medford, and allowed three earned runs in 3.1 innings, while striking out five. Closer Taylor Frost, who did not allow a run during the regular season, allowed four runs, and Jamie Flynn earned the loss, allowing the two go-ahead runs.
The Pickles and Rogues meet on Wednesday night at Harry & David Field in Medford for Game 3, with the winner advancing to the championship round. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35, and coverage will start at 6:30. The game can be heard on Sunny 1550 and will be streamed on picklesbaseball.com.