By JOHN LIKANJE
July 15, 1969 could have been a worst case scenario for the Rochester Red Wings. They entered the day mired in a team-wide hitting slump and matched up against their antithesis, the Tidewater Tides.
The Tides had beaten the Wings eight times in 10 head-to-head matchups. They would finish the 1969 season with an International League-best 76 victories as well.
But on this day, the Wings turned the tables thanks to catcher John Sullivan. Sullivan hit the go-ahead single to lift the home team to a 9-8 win in front of 4,061 spectators.
Tied at seven in the bottom of the seventh, Terry Crowley roped a double into the corner to place runners on second and third with two outs. Enter Sullivan, who was last on the team in batting average among players with qualified at-bats. He cashed in both runs with a single to give the Wings a 9-7 lead they would not relinquish. Sullivan finished the game 2-of-4 with a solo shot as well.
John Hofferd, who was splitting time between Single-A and Double-A ball, was called upon to shut the door. The 6-foot-2 right-hander accrued a game-ending double play from Bill Sorrell with runners on first and second.
For the Tides, Duffy Dyer paced the offense with three hits, two RBI and two runs scored.
Also on this day: 1933 – The Red Wings trounced the Orioles from Baltimore 11-3 for a second straight victory. The Wings pounded out sixteen hits led by Gordon Hinkle who had two singles, a double and a triple; 2005 – John Webb pitched seven strong innings, guiding the Durham Bulls to a 4-3 victory over the Rochester Red Wings in Durham. Garrett Jones hit a solo home run in the second and Terry Tiffee launched a two-run shot to center in the ninth for Rochester’s runs; 2006 – Ed Rogers hit a three-run homer to lead Ottawa over the Wings 4-2 at Frontier Field. Garrett Jones hit a solo home run for Rochester.