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  • Jack Johnson

Tides Run Up Score Late as Stripers Drop Series Opener 12-1

Justus Sheffield worked his second quality start of the season and kept through Stripers close through seven innings. (Josh Conner)

A late eruption of offense from Norfolk (58-31) turned a 2-1 pitcher’s duel into a 12-1 Tides’ rout of the Gwinnett Stripers (38-51) on Tuesday night at Coolray Field.

Decisive Plays: Entering the top of the fifth ahead 1-0, Norfolk added on with a solo home run by Maverick Handley (2). The Stripers got their first run on a run-scoring single from Jesus Aguilar in the sixth inning to make it 2-1. The Tides put up three insurance runs in the eighth on a towering three-run homer by Coby Mayo (1) to lead 5-1. Three batters later, Josh Lester hammered a two-run homer (15) to break the game open at 7-1. Five more runs crossed in the ninth to bring the final score to 12-1.

Key Contributors: Vaughn Grissom (2-for-4) had the only multi-hit game for Gwinnett while Aguilar (1-for-4, RBI) had the only RBI. On the mound, Justus Sheffield (7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO) logged his longest start of the year in a tough-luck loss. For Norfolk, Mayo (2-for-5, homer, 4 RBIs) and Lester (2-for-5, homer, 3 RBIs) combined to drive in five runs on their eighth inning home runs to break it open.

Noteworthy: Grissom recorded his team-best 27th multi-hit game of the season and now has 13 multi-hit performances in his last 25 games. Sheffield posted his second quality start of the season and now has two quality starts in his past four outings with Gwinnett.

Next Game (Wednesday, July 19): Gwinnett vs. Norfolk, 12:05 p.m. ET at Coolray Field. Broadcast: 11:50 a.m. ET on and Bally Live. LHP Jared Shuster (2-3, 6.49 ERA) will go for the Stripers against RHP Justin Armbruester (1-1, 3.44 ERA) for the Tides. It’s the second Summer Splash Down game of the season at Coolray Field, as area youth camps will be in attendance for a day of water-themed fun.

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