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Austin Gauthier walks it off with first professional homer for Rancho

Gauthier signed in 2021 as an undrafted free agent

Baltimore Orioles v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

There were two walk-offs and another game won in the final at-bat on a new rule to this season to round out the action for Dodgers affiliates Friday.

Player of the day

Austin Gauthier hit his first home run as a professional Friday and it couldn’t have come at a better time. With the score tied at 10-10 going into the bottom of the ninth in Rancho, Gauthier took a 3-2 pitch out of the ballpark to left center to give his team an 11-10 walk-off victory.

The long ball was the middle infielder’s fourth hit of the night in five trips to the plate, raising his average to .321 on the year with a .915 OPS. Gauthier is now a scorching 15-for-28 (.536) over his last eight games.

The Dodgers signed Gauthier as an undrafted free agent in August of 2021 after he graduated from Hofstra University.

Triple-A Oklahoma City

Thanks to the new pace of playing rules, Oklahoma City was able to score the go-ahead run in the ninth and hang on for a 6-5 win over Round Rock (Rangers) on the road.

With a 5-5 score and the bases loaded thanks to three walks, Round Rock’s Jesus Tinoco disengaged from the pitching rubber three times during the same plate appearance without an out being recorded, which is penalized as a balk under the new rules. Everyone moved up 90 feet and what ended up being the winning run came across for the Dodgers.

OKC had three strikeouts to go with the three walks in the inning but were able to cash in on the mistake without the benefit of a hit.

While the express used four long balls — including one from former Dodger Zach Reks — to do most of their damage, OKC strung together timely hits. Down 2-1 in the fourth, the Dodgers started the inning mixing three walks and three singles to plate four runs to take a 5-2 lead.

Round Rock answered with two solo homers, one from MLB veteran Matt Carpenter, and an RBI-single to tie the score. It would remain tied until the ninth.

Miguel Vargas went 2-for-4 with an RBI-single and a walk, extending his on-base streak to 16 games. Vargas has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games, going 22-for-54 (.407) with 14 RBI, 12 walks and 20 runs scored.

Double-A Tulsa

The Drillers took an early 3-0 lead Friday but couldn’t overcome eight runs from Frisco (Rangers) in the middle innings, falling 8-6 in front of the home crowd to snap a five-game winning streak.

A James Outman two-run single in the first and a Jacob Amaya solo shot gave Tulsa the early advantage. But the wheels fell off in the third for starter Landon Knack, giving up a two-run double in the third and allowing the first two runners to reach in the fourth before being lifted for lefty John Rooney.

It wouldn’t go any better for Rooney as he gave up a run-scoring groundout and two run homer immediately after entering the game. Frisco hit two more home runs in the fifth to jump out to the 8-3 lead, which proved too much for Tulsa to overcome.

Devin Mann hit a two-run homer of his own in the eighth to cut the Rough Riders’ lead to two, but that would be the last hitter to reach for the Drillers.

On a positive note, Andy Pages hit his first home run since April 24 Friday.

High-A Great Lakes

Each team scored in the fourth, eighth and ninth but it was the extra run in the fourth for Lake County (Guardians) that made the difference. After tying the score in the top of the ninth, Great Lakes allowed two walks and a single to end the game on a 4-3 walk-off for the Captains.

Jorbit Vivas singled in a run in the fourth to break the scoreless tie but starter Cole Percival would give up a pair of runs (one unearned) in the bottom of the fourth to give Lake County the advantage.

The Loons tied the score on a Jonny DeLuca solo homer in the eighth but immediately gave it back to the Captains on a wild pitch that scored a run in the home half of the eighth. Great Lakes tied it again in the ninth but eventually lost.

Low-A Rancho Cucamonga

Both teams had the bats working Friday, scoring in bunches all game. It had to end somewhere though and Gauthier’s first homer of the season or of his pro career did the trick in an 11-10 walk-off win for the Quakes.

The 5-9 spots in the order for the Quakes were 11-for-21 on the night, including four hits from Gauthier and a three-run shot off the bat of Luis Rodriguez in a five-run first.

Rancho had scored all 10 of their early runs by the end of the fourth and held on after giving up five in the sixth and three in the eighth. The only clean inning for a Rancho pitcher was the ninth for Carlos De Los Santos who struck out two in a perfect inning.

Other notables was Alex De Jesus hitting a solo homer and Diego Cartaya going 0-for-4 on the night.

Friday’s scores

Saturday’s schedule

  • 3:35 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (Kendall Williams) at Lake County (Doug Nikhazy)
  • 4:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Beau Burrows) at Round Rock (TBD)
  • 5:05 p.m.: Tulsa (Bobby Miller) vs Frisco (Jack Leiter)
  • 6:30 p.m. Rancho Cucamonga (Ben Casparius) vs Stockton (Mitch Myers)