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Quinn runs through stop sign and Cutters win in walk-off fashion
August 1, 2012 - Mitch Rupert
By MITCH RUPERT
Roman Quinn came around second base at full speed and looked up to see third-base coach Andy Tracy holding both hands in the air. Quinn didn’t stop.
In the top of the ninth inning, trailing by a run, the lightning bolt of a shortstop for Williamsport took a gamble with nobody out. He knew it then, and he sure knows it now after a discussion with Tracy while standing on third base.
The gamble paid off. Aberdeen dropped the relay throw and Quinn had himself a leadoff triple. Two pitches later, Mitch Walding drove the game-tying, RBI single through the right side, and three batters later Walding scored on an errant throw to first base on a potential double play ball and the Crosscutters beat the IronBirds, 7-6, in front of 2,500 fans at Bowman Field.
It was Williamsport’s first win when trailing after eighth innings. It had been 0-23 in that situation this year.
“This is real big. Words can’t explain it right now,” Quinn said. “We needed that win.”
The Cutters were coming off a July in which they went just 6-23. And everything was just sailing along in the August opener Wednesday night. Then Aberdeen scratched out three runs in the fifth, and Cameron Edman hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning to give the IronBirds a 6-5 lead.
Quinn injected life right back into the Cutters’ offense with his daring dash to lead-off the ninth inning. He’s hit a number of balls down in to the right-field corner like the one he hit to lead-off the ninth. On every one he’s always been thinking three bases out of the box. This was the first one where three bases were in question.
He rounded second at full speed before picking up Tracy at third base and knew there was probably no way he was going to be able to throw on the brakes, so he kept going. Aberdeen second baseman Creede Simpson got the relay from right fielder Lucas Herbst, but dropped it on the transfer and Quinn did a belly-flop into third base safely.
“It’s just bad baserunning by me,” Quinn said. “It’s a big learning experience. Guys were telling me how close it would have been if the cutoff man caught it and it got me thinking about it. Man, I messed up on that one. But it worked out for the best.”
“If he gets thrown out at third over there with nobody out and the middle of the lineup coming up, it’s a whole different discussion we’re having,” Tracy said. “I’m not going to be mad at him, but that’s the learning thing we’re talking about. Obviously I’m not mad at him because he was safe. That’s the beauty of baseball.”
The two-run, ninth-inning rally came off of Tom Winegardner who is being converted into a pitcher by the Orioles. The former non-drafted free agent just was in he IronBirds lineup as a designated hitter just last weekend. He had been unscored upon in his four previous appearances for Aberdeen.
In fact, the three hits he gave up in the ninth last night were more than the two he had given up in his previous four appearances. The Cutters got the big leadoff hit they needed. They followed with good situational hitting to give themselves a chance to win when Walding hit the ball hard through a drawn-in infield to tie the game.
Cameron Perkins then laid down a perfect drag bunt to put two runners on base with nobody out. After a Chris Serritella fly out, Larry Greene Jr., who hit into a pair of double plays last night, hit another tailor-made double play ball to first base. Perkins slid in hard to second and Caronia made a low throw to first that skipped past Edman allowing Walding to score.
“We’re starting to learn that part of the game,” said Quinn, who finished 1 for 2 with a stolen base and an RBI. “Tracy stresses it enough that situational hitting is important in the game of baseball. We did a good job of it tonight.”
The offense scored five early runs for starting pitcher Manaure Martinez, a 20-year old right-hander making his debut for the team. He showed a good two-seam fastball that had left-handers bailing, and a slider that had right-handers hitting the ball off the end of the bat.
Of the 15 outs Martinez recorded, 10 of them came in three pitches or less. His fastball also topped out at 95 mph. Martinez did give up three runs in the fifth inning, but he left with a 5-4 lead after five innings. He threw 47 of his 69 pitches for strikes (68 percent), allowed just four hits and struck out three.
“It looked like he got a little tired maybe,” Tracy said. “But his velocity looked good to me. He looked like he had some deception on the ball. It looked like he was throwing hard and he had them off-balance.”
“He was real good,” Quinn said. “Dude’s got good stuff.”
Tyler Greene had one of his best games of the season for the Cutters, going 3 for 4 with a double. He also made an outstanding defensive play to end the fifth inning, diving in the hole between first and second to throw out Sam Kimmel.
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