Nothing beats a walk-off win in baseball especially when one player does it tw0 games in a row. Over the weekend that’s what Clearwater Threshers catcher Henri Lartigue did in back-to-back games against the Dunedin Blue Jays, first on Saturday night, watch HERE and then Sunday afternoon, watch HERE.
It is unusual to see one walk-off win but to see two in row is rare. Lartigue walked off Saturday’s game on a Texas-League bloop single to left in the tenth inning. He did it again yesterday in regulation on a no-doubt-about-it tape measure home run high over the fences in right-clear out of Spectrum Field. It was his fourth homer of the season.
In yesterday’s game the Thresher trailed 5-0 before before exploding for six runs in the bottom of the ninth. The big rally was started by a base hit by Jose Pujols followed by a two-run homer by Luke Williams. Grenny Cumana singled, moved to third on a double by Brian Mims and scored on a wild pitch. Arquimedes Gamboa singled in Mims to make the score 5-4 before the two-run walk-off homer by Lartigue.
The 6-5 win gave the Threshers their ninth win in the last eleven games. They now are 4-0 to start the second half and 36-36 overall.
Three players in addition to Lartigue need to be singled out in the win. They are starting pitcher Mckenzie Mills, Williams and Cumana.
Mills pitched five shutout innings striking out eight before taken out after throwing 90 pitches. Watch HERE. He was the third starting Threshers pitcher in a row to be removed after five innings.
Williams homer in the wild ninth inning was his seventh of the year and his sixth of the month in 19 June games. Watch HERE. He had hit only three homers in his previous three seasons.
Cumana made two outstanding defensive plays from left field including a diving catch down the line to save two runs from scoring in the second inning and threw out a runner at the plate trying score another run later in the game. Watch HERE. His three runs denied defensively were essential to setting the stage for the ninth inning heroics. Cumana only started playing left field eleven games ago and now has a total of three outfield assists.
Who would have ever predicted that the Threshers would lose both the team’s leading home run hitter, Darick Hall, to start the month of June and batting average leader, Austin Listi, ten days ago to call-ups to Reading and go on to win 9 of their last 11 games?