As soon as Drew Maggi singled to start the bottom of the 10th inning, Curve manager P.J. Forbes said he was confident his team was going to win.
Sure enough, two batters later, Adalberto Santos slapped a single to right field, and Maggi easily scored the game-winning run from third base as the Curve beat New Hampshire, 3-2, in 10 innings. The win - which was played before a crowd of 5,013 at Peoples Natural Gas Field - clinched a series victory for the Curve, and put them back over the .500 mark.
"Maggi leading [the 10th inning] off with a single told me we were going to win the game," Forbes said. "I really felt like once he got on, we were going to win the game."
In between the singles from Maggi and Santos, there was some work done to get Maggi to third base.
With Brock Holt at the plate, Maggi stole second base, and Holt met with Forbes to discuss the possibility of bunting Maggi over to third base.
"After Maggi stole, I went down there and asked [Holt] 'what do you want to do?' He goes 'I want to hit,' " Forbes said. "I said 'all right, whatever you do, you get him over here to third base.' "
It wasn't much, but with a groundout to the first baseman, Holt moved Maggi 90 feet closer and set the stage for Santos.
When Santos stepped in the box, he said he was looking for a fastball. On a 2-1 count, he got one over the outer half of the plate and with the infield playing in, no fielder had a shot at Santos' chopping grounder, which easily reached right field.
"They were throwing me a couple of sliders early in the game, keeping me off balance, doing a good job of pitching to me," Santos said. "I just wasn't staying on the ball too well today, and I kind of just zeroed in on a fastball, and I got one."
The Curve's 10th inning was only possible thanks to a run they scored in the ninth inning to keep the game going.
Oscar Tejeda led off the ninth with a single and then the Curve turned to small ball in the frame. Ramon Cabrera laid down a sacrifice bunt and the Fisher Cats attempted to cut down Tejeda at second base, but he beat the throw.
Jarek Cunningham was next at the plate, again he bunted and again New Hampshire tried to get Tejeda on the sacrifice attempt, this time at third base. But pitcher Sam Dyson made an errant throw that went down the right field line, and Tejeda scored while Cabrera and Cunningham got to second and third with no outs.
It seemed like the Curve would take the game right there in the ninth, however, Jeremy Farrell grounded out before pinch hitter Stefan Welch lined into a double play to end the threat.
Dyson (1-2) ended up getting the loss for New Hampshire, as he also pitched the 10th inning. Hard-throwing righty Vic Black (2-1) pitched a perfect 10th inning for the Curve and notched his second win.
The Curve's bullpen did not allow an earned run in five innings of work after starter Kris Johnson gave up one run on one hit in five innings.
The win not only pushes the Curve above the .500 mark, but it puts them in a tie for third place with Richmond in the Western Division. Both the Curve and Richmond are currently one game behind Bowie for second place and a playoff spot.
"We know we're only a couple of games away," Santos said. "We know ourselves and in our clubhouse we're a really good team. We got great players on our squad and when we play well, we feel like nobody can beat us. We're starting to pick that up. And these are the days when people start to fall back on their heels and kind of relax, and we're trying to take advantage of that."
Key player: OF Adalberto Santos was 2-for-5 with a walk-off single.
Key play: Santos' single in the 10th brought home SS Drew Maggi to give the Curve the win.
Key stat: Entering an off day Monday, the Curve are just a game behind Bowie for a playoff spot.
How they scored
Top 3rd: Clemens solo homer (0-1).
Top 7th: Tolisano walked, scored on Farrell error (0-2).
Bottom 7th: Curry solo homer (1-2).
Bottom 9th: Tejeda singled, scored on Dyson error (2-2).
Bottom 10th: Maggi singled, scored on Santos single (3-2).