- The Triple-A Indianapolis Indians walked it off with a spectacular fashion Thursday night.
- With two outs and two strikes on the batter in the ninth inning, center fielder Jared Oliva stole home for the win.
- Read more baseball news here.
Walk off wins in baseball are always exciting. Or, well, almost always.
Whether it’s a clutch hit through the hole, a massive bomb to the bleachers, or a heads up baserunning play, it doesn’t get much more exciting for a baseball team than when they walk it off, leaving the other team wondering where they went wrong.
Such was the case on Thursday night as the Indianapolis Indians, the Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, took on the Cleveland Guardians’ Triple-A squad, the Columbus Clippers.
After giving up a 5-3 lead to Columbus, who scored a run in both the eighth and ninth innings to tie it up, Indians center fielder Jared Oliva smacked a double with one out in the bottom of the ninth.
A ground out by top Pirates prospect Oneil Cruz, who homered earlier in the game, advanced Oliva to third base.
Indianapolis Indians center fielder Jared Oliva saw an opportunity and took it
Then, with two out and the count full at 3-2 to Indians’ designated hitter Canaan Smith-Njigba, Oliva took a healthy lead off third base.
Clippers catcher Bryan Lavastida noticed Oliva’s big lead and took a peek at him, but then tossed the ball back very leisurely to pitcher Ben Krauth.
As soon as Lavastida made his lollipop of a throw back to the mound, Oliva made a mad dash for home and was able to dive safely across home plate, beating Krauth’s return throw back to Lavastida.
We've been a baseball team for a long, long time.
This is one of the greatest walk-offs we've ever seen. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/MBLAVC1KBi
— Indianapolis Indians (@indyindians) June 10, 2022
Oliva’s steal of home, his second stolen base of the night, moved Indianapolis to 28-27 on the season, 5-1/2 games out of first place in the International League West.
Many baseball fans on the internet absolutely loved Oliva’s heads up play to win the game.
Where can I get a circle city Oliva jersey right now— Ongo Goblogian (@DimJinkins) June 10, 2022
That’s good baseball.— Baron Crass Hills, Esq. (@shallcross_s) June 10, 2022
When people ask what mean when I say MLB lacks Creativity and Aggressiveness, this is exactly what I mean.— Mathias White (@mathiaswhite) June 10, 2022
Can you imagine Buxton doing this to the Yankees for a Win?
Others just shook their head at the lackadaisical effort by the Clippers’ catcher that opened the door for the walk off steal of home.
This is why you never lob the ball back to the pitcher. Especially with someone on base. Especially when they are on third base. Especially when they represent the winning run! Yikes.— WHW IV (@WaltersWH) June 10, 2022
That’s 100% on the catcher. You can’t lollypop a throw like that with speed on 3rd.— Sean O’ The Irish ☘️🍷⚾️🏈 (@SeanOTheIrish) June 10, 2022