College baseball season is just underway and we already have a wild game-winning play.
A Division III game Sunday between the State University of New York Maritime and Plattsburgh State ended on one incredibly lucky bounce.
In the bottom of the seventh, SUNY Maritime had a 5-3 lead.
Plattsburgh scratched out a run on a walk, a hit batter and an RBI single by Stephen Lydon to make it 5-4.
Lydon went to second on a walk, which put runners on first and second with two outs.
With the next batter at the plate, the pitcher attempted to pick off Lydon at second.
The pickoff attempt was wild, however, and went sailing over the head of the shortstop into center field.
Lydon advanced to third on the throwing error and then rounded third to head for home.
What happened next is about as unusual an ending as you’ll ever see.
The relay home from the shortstop went flying over the head of SUNY Maritime catcher Jake Vera. Lydon slid into home, apparently safe for the tying run. But Lydon overslid home plate.
At the same time, the errant relay hit a bar on the backstop and came rolling back to Vera.
Vera fielded it, turned around and tagged out Lydon as he scrambled to get back to home.
Lydon was called out and the game was over. Maritime held on for a 5-4 win, thanks to one very lucky bounce.
“It definitely wasn’t a conventional way to close out a game, but we found a way to win and I’m proud of the team for bouncing back after game one,” SUNY Maritime head coach Charlie Barbieri said, according to the school’s website.
“With the weather we’ve had this preseason, I couldn’t be happier that the team was able to go out there and perform the way they did this weekend. We still have a lot we can improve on, but it feels good to start the season 3-1,” he added.
It’s good to have baseball back.
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