Minor-league baseball mistakes usually don’t make headlines, but Emmanuel Clase’s latest error was no mere mess-up.
The Eugene (Ore.) Emeralds won the Northwest League championship Tuesday, winning the clinching game over the Spokane Indians on Clase’s walk-off balk. The game was tied 2-2, and the bases were loaded with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning when Clase stumbled off mound, with disastrous results for his team.
The Emeralds won the Northwest League the hard way. They struggled for much of their 31-45 regular season and only earned a playoff spot due to their improved record in the second half of the campaign. However, their form reversed in the playoffs, and they won five consecutive playoff games by a score of 3-2, despite trailing in four of them.
But none of those wins came as unexpectedly as the last one.
“I saw him drop the ball and thought ‘What just happened’,” Emeralds player Jake Slaughter, who was on second base at the time of Clase’s balk, per The Register-Guard’s Steve Mims. “I know its crazy, but we got it done.”
H/t to Deadspin
Thumbnail photo via YouTube/minorleaguebaseball