Niagara Gazette


July 7, 2014

Base Paths: Not all walk-offs created equal

Niagara Gazette — Andy Warhol observed that everyone deserves 15 minutes of fame. He didn’t know baseball. All Jack Trotman needed Thursday night was 15 seconds to write himself into the Niagara Power Hall of What the Heck Just Happened.

Trotman accomplished was a “run-off,” the heroics of Enos Slaughter (who once won a Series game by scoring from first on a single) and Bobby Thomson (the shot heard round the world) rolled into one play, the second spectacular game-ender on the Niagara Frontier within hours.

Chronologically, then:

Wednesday night the Bisons and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre went scorelessly into extra innings in the first of a pair of seven-inning games as part of a doubleheader. Two quick singles put Railriders on first and third, none out, whereupon Zoilo Almonte pounded one to Ryan Goins at second.

Goins came home, where A. J. Jimenez ranged tagged out the runner, no force. Now with runners on first and second, Fransisco Arcia lined a single to right. Newcomer Ryan Schimpf ripped it home, where Jimenez tagged out the go-ahead run for the second consecutive time. Base Paths, a fan for 75 years, cannot ever remember such a sequence.

After an intentional walk, pitcher Ryan Tepera slapped down a comebacker like a mosquito and slipped it to first. For the ‘riders: Three hits, a walk and a goose-egg on the board.

With one out in the Bisons’ eighth, All-Star Dan Johnson defied a 10-mph wind and lofted into the Philharmonic-ready party deck and that was it, 1-0 Bisons. Johnson got the home-plate pounding, but without a fielding sequence worthy of baseball’s Medal of Honor, none of it happens.

One night later the Power trailed 2-3 with two out in the ninth. At second stood John Mulhern, who had bravely “worn” one of Syracuse closer Thomas Eng’s fiery aspirin tablets and, when the pain eased, stolen second.

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