Brock Kjeldgaard's game winning homer against Kane County last week sent me back through some old scorebooks to see what just how many of those events have happened over the last several seasons. So...
June 25, 2000: Gorky Estrella hit a two out grand slam off Wellington Cepeda, bottom ninth to beat
13, 2001: Joe Rodriguez hit a two-run
homer off Victor Corcoran in bottom seventh to beat
15, 2001: John Castellano ended a 17-inning game with a two out, solo homer to
beat Fort Wayne 3-2. The homer came off position player John Stone
to end the 4:40 marathon. When I saw Castellano the next day, I
said, "Thank you." Because I was out of stuff to say.
12, 2001: Ariel
16, 2002: Sean Peless homered
twice in this game. His second has a two-run shot off Matt Vorwald
in the bottom of the ninth to beat Quad City 5-3.
Setting up the moment was an Alejandro Cadena leadoff walk.
27, 2003: TJ Bohn capped off a
pretty good day with a leadoff against Enrique Gonzalez in the
bottom of the tenth to break a 12-12 tie with
April 13, 2005: Matt Tuiasosopo, ended a game with the leadoff homer off Michael Gross in the bottom of the eleventh to break a 2-2 tie with the SWING! Tuiasosopo had tied the game with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning.
September 9, 2005: Mike Wilson hit a two-run homer off JP Martinez in the bottom of the tenth to break a 2-2 tie for a 4-2 win over the Beloit Snappers in game three of the first round of the Western Division playoffs for a series winning homer. This one may be my favorite. I've written about it a lot over the years and somehow, I didn't screw up the call.
21, 2006: Another extra-inning homer, but with a twist and on a special day,
too. Ron Garth, like the rest of the team was wearing a pink jersey.
He didn't start the game, but he finished it. Garth hit a lead-off,
pinch-hit, home run off Eliezer Garcia in the bottom of the eleventh to break
a 3-3 tie with
6, 2006: This game had a lot of twists and turns. The Rattlers were up
7-5 on the Beloit Snappers. Then, they were down 10-7. In the
bottom of the eighth, the Rattlers tied the game with three runs. In
the bottom of the ninth, Johan Limonta untied the game. His one out,
solo home run off David Shinske won the game 11-10.
24, 2006: Clinton pitcher Jake Rasner was working on a no-hitter in the second
game of this doubleheader. The LumberKings probably should have won this
game and Rasner have wrapped up the no-hitter in the bottom of the seventh.
But, the game was scoreless heading to the bottom of the eighth. Curtis
Ledbetter broke up the no hitter, the shutout, and ended the game with his
leadoff home run and the Rattlers celebrated a 1-0 win.
13, 2007: And on more in extra innings. This was the second game of a
doubleheader. The Rattlers had worn their pink jerseys in game one of
the doubleheader and switched out to their batting practice tops for game two.
This game ending homer involved some major league names. Andy Hargrove,
stepped to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning to face Jeremy
Papelbon of the Peoria Chiefs with the score tied 3-3.
Moment earlier catcher Danny Santin had kept the inning alive with a
two-out single. Hargrove hit his second homer of the game to give the
Rattlers a 5-3 win.
June 5, 2008: The last Rattler home run to end a game before the game-winner by Kjeldgaard last week was Gavin Dickey's, leadoff homer off Wayne Daman of the Quad Cities River Bandits for a 4-3 win. That home run was in...you guessed it...extra innings. Dickey's blast won the game in the tenth inning.
I count eight extra-inning game winners and a pair of grand slams. Next time you're at Time Warner Cable Field and the game is heading into the tenth or eleventh inning. Think about sticking around for the conclusion. You never know.
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