Santiago Nessy got a little too excited.
With the game tied 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth, Nessy was standing on first, one of the three Lansing baserunners waiting to see what happened as Chris Hawkins stepped to the plate in a two-out, bases loaded situation.
Hawkins rose to the occasion, lining an apparent walk-off single to right field to score Dwight Smith with the game-winning run. It’s the kind of moment every player dreams of, right to the point where Nessy turns around to run and join the celebration with Hawkins near first base.
Great Lakes center fielder James Baldwin noticed that Nessy never touched second base, alertly threw the ball to second baseman Kevin Taylor who tagged the bag. Since it was a force out, the fact that Smith scored before the out was recorded meant nothing. The celebration was quickly dampened by the news that the game was heading to the 10th. As you could probably expect, the Loons’ buoyed by being given a second chance, scored in the top of the 10th then hung on for a 5-4 win.
As for Nessy, he’s one of the better prospects in the Blue Jays’ organization, so hopefully this will be a mistake of youthful exuberance he can remember fondly as a future big leaguer instead of being the highlight of his pro career.
To see the craziness, check out this YouTube video by “E Rick”. The “game-winning” single occurs at 1:17.