Casey Gillaspie saw Jamill Moquete hesitate between second and third base, and immediately, the thought crossed his mind.
"It was kind of nerve-wracking," the Rays' top prospect said. "As soon as I caught the ball from second base, I knew we had a chance to complete a triple play."
The Hudson Valley first baseman saw the opportunity and took it for the Renegades. The team ended the second inning with a 6-4-3-5 triple play in a 7-6 New York-Penn League loss to Class A Short Season Aberdeen on Monday.
The IronBirds started the second with a pair of baserunners -- Moquete reached on a walk and Hector Veloz reached on a throwing error by third baseman Grant Kay.
The next hitter, Oswill Lartiguez, hit a soft liner to the left of second base. Hudson Valley shortstop Alec Sole wasn't at double-play depth, and as he approached the liner, he made the mostly instinctual decision to let the ball drop just in front of his glove.
"I had the route where I could've cut it off and maybe caught it," he said. "But I maybe took a back route and waited for it to drop to the ground."
Sole scooped the soft liner on a short hop, which evidently confused Moquete. The baserunner froze, looking back at Sole behind him, then made his first move toward second to avoid being doubled off if Sole had caught the ball.
"I saw him standing there, and I was like, 'Whoa, what is he doing?'" Sole said. "Instinct took over and I threw to second."
Sole's flipped the ball to second baseman Jace Conrad, who relayed the ball to Gillaspie at first. In the meantime, Moquete -- apparently realizing Sole had not caught the liner -- turned back toward third.
Gillaspie noticed Moquete heading for third and when he received Conrad's throw, the first baseman winged the ball to Kay at third. Kay applied the tag on a sliding Moquete to complete the inning-ender.
"It was funny because Casey threw the ball to third, and I was still processing," Sole said. "Then he tagged him out, and I just yelled, 'Triple play!'"
The triple play was the first such career feat for Sole, Gillaspie and Kay.
"It was just exciting," Gillaspie said. "You play every day and stuff like that barely ever happens, especially in that manner. To be a part of the reason that happened, it's a pretty cool experience."
"Everybody got really excited," Kay said. "We were all hyped in the dugout. The fans were into it too. It was probably one of the coolest plays I've been a part of."
Conrad added a solo shot in the fourth, his second long ball of the season.
Veloz finished with a homer, a double, two RBIs and two runs. Stephen Wilkerson also went yard for Aberdeen.