New Zealand slugger Andrew Marck delivered a clutch single to drive in the winning runs in the top of the ninth as the Auckland Tuatara snatched a crucial 2-1 Australian Baseball League win over the Sydney Blue Sox on Saturday night.
Unable to get anything going offensively all night, the Tuatara rallied in the final inning to load the bases.
Kim Won-seok – the hero from the corresponding fixture in Auckland three weeks ago – struck out swinging and the Tuatara were down to their final out.
But as he has done all season, Marck stood tall and dropped a base hit into left field that scored lead-off runner Yonny Hernandez and catcher Jonny Homza to steal the lead.
Reliever Elliot Johnstone calmly got the final three outs for the save and ensured the Tuatara maintained a four-game lead atop the Northeast Division.
The two sides meet in the series finale on Sunday night, where new signing – former Major League pitcher Jen-Ho Tseng – will take to the mound for the first time.