Vic Wertz's walk-off homer gives Don Schwall
ON THIS DATE (June 2, 1961) ... A quick 420 ft homer by Vic Wertz, broke up an old-time pitcher's duel between Don Schwall and Billy Hoeft of the Orioles.
Baltimore had just tied the game in the top of the ninth inning at two-all, with only the third run given up by Schwall in his 26 innings of work, in the major league.
In the bottom of half of the ninth, Jim Pagliaroni started by working a walk. Tom Brewer came in as a pinch runner and Wertz came to the plate. Vic ran the count to 1 and 2, before taking the next pitch into the 10th row of the bleachers over the junction of the bullpens. A splendid ball game, where both pitchers went all the way, in front of splendid fielding thus came to an abrupt end.
The Orioles scored in the opening inning. With one away, Jackie Brandt walked and scored on singles by Brooks Robinson and Jim Gentile. It was the second run yielded by Schwall in his major league career. With runners on first and third, Schwall then struck out Gus Triandos and Ron Hansen to end the inning.
Trouble in the third inning was averted by the Sox defense. Brandt led with a double to center, but was cut down by Jackie Jensen and a relay by Don Buddin to Frank Malzone at third, trying to stretch it to a triple.
Hoeft, in the meantime had only walked a man, and took a no-hitter into the fifth inning. But Rip Repulski opened with a double off the left field wall and moved to third on a ground-out, scoring on Buddin's single to center to tie the score at 1-1.
A great play by Brooks Robinson stopped the Sox from scoring in the sixth inning. Gary Geiger and Jensen started the inning with base hits. After two fly balls, Pagliaroni smashed a grounder that was headed thru the hole between Robinson and Hansen. Bur Brooks made a head-long dive to his left, grabbed the ball and thru to second from his knees, to nail Jensen.
With the score still deadlocked in the last of the eighth, the Sox finally grabbed the lead. Chuck Schilling led off with a base hit and took second on Gary Geiger's sacrifice. Schilling went to third on a smash by Jensen that firstbaseman Jim Gentile did a great job from letting the bell get past him and go into right field. But Malzone followed with a single to right, scoring Schilling anyway and giving the Sox a 2-1 lead.
Schwall meanwhile, had pitched a brilliant game, retiring 24 batters on three hits and three walks, since he was scored upon in the first inning. After Ron Hansen's lead-off single in the fourth inning, Schwall retired the next 14 batters in a row.
With one out in the ninth inning, Hansen lined one over Jensen's head against the top of the bullpen wall for a triple. After the next batter was retired, Whitey Herzog slapped a line drive single to center that once again tied the score.
Pagliaroni's walk and Wertz's homer in the bottom of the ninth, left Schwall still undefeated in his first three games in the majors.