In a tense final pair of innings, Casey Haerther turned up as the hero the Goldeyes needed, and the architect of a thrilling walk-off win.
The first baseman gave the Fish their first lead of the game to lead off the eighth when he slammed out a solo homer to put his team up 6-5. The Fish let that lead slip away in the top of the ninth, but Haerther came back in the bottom half to finish the job: with two runners on the bags and two outs, his single to centre brought Reggie Abercrombie home for the victory.
Other than one bad inning, it might never have been that close. The Fish were forced to play come-from-behind early, after starting hurler Chris Salamida was stung for four hits and five runs in the second inning. But Salamida battled back, and only allowed three more hits and no other runs through his 6.1 innings, while striking out six.
Meanwhile, the Goldeyes offence responded by cracking the scoreboard in the third, when a Ryan Pineda single drove Josh Mazzola home. They'd make a stronger push in the sixth: first, an RBI single from catcher Luis Alen, then a whopping two-run homer from outfielder Donnie Webb brought the Goldeyes within one. Then some déj vu, as another Pineda RBI-single scored Mazzola.
The Goldeyes and Airhogs meet again tonight at 7 p.m. and wrap up the series on Thursday at 11 a.m.