Winning a division crown is always cause for a celebration, but doing so in walk-off fashion might be even more fun.
Chris Bostick hit a walk-off RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning for Beloit, which clinched the Midwest League's first-half Western Division crown with an 8-7 win over Clinton on Sunday night at Pohlman Field.
Bostick added two other hits and totaled three RBIs. Four other Snappers had multiple hits, including Oakland's No. 7 prospect Renato Nunez, who plated two runs, and John Wooten, who scored three times.
Tyler Vail (3-2), Beloit's fifth pitcher of the game, picked up the win with a scoreless ninth.
The Western Division title is Beloit's first since 2007, and the Snappers' 43-27 record is their best since that year.
First-year manager Ryan Christenson has had plenty of talent to work with on the Beloit roster. Six Snappers were selected as Midwest League All Stars -- third baseman Nunez, first baseman Matt Olson, catcher Bruce Maxwell, starting pitchers Michael Ynoa and Raul Alcantara and closer Ryan Dull.
Alcantara has led the pitching staff with a 7-1 record and 2.44 ERA in 77 1/3 innings. He's struck out 58 and walked seven. The 20-year-old right-hander has been joined at the top of the rotation by the 21-year-old Ynoa, who has a 2-1 record, a 2.17 ERA, and 40 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings. Vincent Voiro has gone 3-2 with a 2.79 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 51 2/3 innings, split between the rotation and the bullpen.
Dull has 12 saves in 25 2/3 innings with 35 strikeouts and just three walks. He's been joined by Tucker Healy as a second stopper in the 'pen. Healy has a 0.94 ERA, 43 strikeouts and five walks in 28 2/3 innings.
Bostick and Nunez have led the offense. Bostick has a team-leading 13 steals, nine homers and an .849 OPS. Nunez has 13 home runs and 48 RBIs, both of which lead the Snappers, and a .496 slugging percentage.
Hagerstown 9, Lakewood 6:
Shawn Pleffner singled in the eventual game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth as Hagerstown defeated Lakewood to win the first-half Northern Division title in the South Atlantic League. Washington's No. 18 prospect Brandon Miller followed up Pleffner's RBI with a homer to dead center field and Estarlin Martinez scored and doubled twice. Robert Benincasa earned his 10th save with a 1-2-3 ninth. The Suns had to wait to celebrate until Hickory lost to Delmarva, 4-2, later Sunday afternoon. Box score