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The walk-off that wasn’t: Minor league team’s boneheaded blunder costs it a win

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

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Chris Hawkins hit what would have been a walk-off single on Monday for the Single-A Lansing Lugnuts (a Blue Jays affiliate). It was the bottom of the ninth in a tied game and with Hawkins' single, the runner on third base scored easily. Teammate Santiago Nessy was the first to congratulate Hawkins. Problem was, Nessy had been on first base and instead of running to second, turned around and ran toward Hawkins.

Oops.

So the opposing Great Lakes Loons (a Dodgers affiliate), being head's up about things, fired the ball into second base for the force out. While the Lugnuts were celebrating, Nessy was declared out, thus negating the game-winning run that crossed the plate. Since it was a force-play at second, Nessy needed to be safe for the run to count. Santiago Nessy: From Lugnut to lughead.

Here's an amateur video capturing the end of the game. You'll need to skip to 1:17 for the crucial play and ensuing blunder:

Oh, but it gets worse for the Lugnuts. They went on to lose the game in ten innings.

We're hearing more and more grumpy complaints about the growingly excessive celebrations that follow walk-off wins in baseball. Teams celebrate like they've won a pennant when they've really only won a game. And here's a situation where a player was more interested in celebrating than completing the play.

How about we end this on a positive note? Let's all agree Minor League Baseball is wonderful for having teams named the Lugnuts and the Loons play against each other.

BLS H/N: Deadspin

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