Runners at first and second with nobody out is the ultimate glass half-full/half-empty situation in baseball. A team could see trouble or it could see an opportunity for something spectacular. In the sixth inning on Wednesday night, Palm Beach third baseman Bruce Caldwell sensed the latter.
"I saw that the runner wasn't very fast, he was the catcher. Then our coach had me right on the bag," the Cardinals prospect said. "And the whole time, the whole at-bat, I was telling the shortstop, 'It's going to happen.'"
Caldwell had an inkling of what unfolded at Roger Dean Stadium as Palm Beach turned an around-the-horn triple play en route to a 4-3 victory over Brevard County.
Brewers No. 4 prospect Orlando Arcia opened the Manatees' sixth with a single and No. 2 prospect Tyrone Taylor walked. As Cameron Garfield stepped up to the plate, Caldwell inched closer to third.
The cleanup hitter smacked a shot to the left side that took two hops before Caldwell scooped it up and stepped on third for one out. He threw to second, where Breyvic Valera got the force and relayed to Luke Voit for the final out.
Inning over. Threat over. History made.
"It was almost routine. It was quick, it was easy," Voit said. "Everyone was astonished. It was cool."
It was the first time Caldwell, Valera and Voit had been involved in such a feat as professionals. Palm Beach's last triple play came on Sept. 4, 2009 against St. Lucie.
"It was a pretty cool experience," Caldwell said. "It was an electric atmosphere, the crowd really got into it."
Cardinals starter Joe Cuda, who also had never been on the field for a triple play, was especially happy with his teammates for picking him up.
The triple play kept the score 3-3, a tie that Starlin Rodriguez broke in the bottom of the inning with his second homer of the game.
"It was a good game, tight game. Both teams made great plays, both pitchers did well," Valera said through teammate and translator Anthony Garcia. "It was a fun game. It [was] great because we won."
Cuda (1-5) picked up his first win of the season after allowing three runs on five hits over seven frames. He walked two batters and struck out three.
Manatees starter Jorge Lopez -- Milwaukee's 19th-ranked prospect -- was tagged for three runs on five hits in five innings. Rehabbing Brewers left-hander Tom Gorzelanny (0-1) surrendered Rodriguez's second homer during a two-inning stint and took the loss.