Valaika Lifts Stripers to Walk-Off Victory over Norfolk
By Dave Lezotte
Media Relations Director
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – Pat Valaika hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Gwinnett Stripers' (7-12) a 7-6 victory over the Norfolk Tides (11-8) on Tuesday afternoon at Coolray Field.
Decisive Play: The Stripers picked up their first walk-off win of 2022 when Valaika drove in Phil Gosselin after Gosselin led off the bottom of the ninth with a double and advanced to third on a fielding error. Gwinnett held a 6-4 lead after six innings, but solo home runs by Robert Neustrom (4) and Jahmai Jones (2) forced the Stripers to come to the plate in the ninth.
Key Contributors: Preston Tucker went 2-for-3 with a double, walk, two runs, and two RBIs. Valaika also had a 2-for-3 day with a walk, two runs, and the game-winning RBI. Delino DeShields Jr. went 1-for-4 with two RBIs.
Noteworthy: The game marked the Stripers' third "final at-bat" win of 2022, and the team's first walk-off victory since Cristian Pache singled to beat the Durham Bulls 4-3 in game one of a doubleheader on August 11, 2021.
Next Game (Wednesday, April 27): Gwinnett vs. Norfolk, 7:05 p.m. at Coolray Field. RHP Touki Toussaint (0-0, 1.42 ERA) for the Stripers vs. RHP Kyle Bradish (2-0, 1.20 ERA) for the Tides. Radio Broadcast: 6:50 p.m. on MyCountry993.com. It's Wet Nose Wednesday at Coolray Field as dogs get in the park for free with owner's paid admission. The Stripers will transform into the "Xolos de Gwinnett" to honor Gwinnett County's rich Hispanic heritage and culture.