In the four years I've covered the Defenders, I have never seen a more exciting conclusion that the one witnessed tonight.
The Defenders rally from 4-1 down to take a 5-4 lead in the sixth. Erie ties it in the eighth and a couple of near misses send the game to extra innings.
In the 10th, Brock Bond lines a triple to left-centerfield and runs through Steve Decker's stop sign at third. The throw is slightly off line, which allows Bond to get in safely. With Brett Pill and his 90 RBIs on deck, it's hard to argue with Deck's logic. Erie intentionally walks Pill to set up a double play should it need it, and brings Mike Mooney to the plate. Mooney hits a chopper to second and the throw home is right on the money. However, Boyer goes in head first and knocks away Jeff Kunkel's glove, sending the ball to the backstop. Boyer gets up and tags home for the win.
Let's not forget Mike McBryde's diving catch in the first to save a run -- or two, maybe. Or the McBryde-Boyer-Jackson Williams play at the plat to gun down an Erie runner. Or Bobby Felmy's home run-saving catch in the third when he reached up over the first wall.
The magic number is 16. Should everyone else keep pace, the clincher comes on the road...likely Aug. 31. But who knows? It may come sooner.
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