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Schwindel, Legends turn triple play

Royals affiliate achieves feat for first time in franchise history
April 6, 2014

It wasn't exactly routine, but Lexington crossed off another first in franchise history on Sunday afternoon.

The Legends turned a run-of-the-mill ground ball into a quirky triple play in a 5-2 win over the visiting West Virginia Power.

The feat came in the top of the second inning with the game scoreless. Pirates No. 18 prospect JaCoby Jones and Erich Weiss opened the frame with singles, but the Legends pulled off a nifty defensive gem to erase the threat.

Wyatt Mathisen, Pittsburgh's 15th-ranked prospect, hit a chopper back to pitcher Luis Santos, who spun and fired the ball to shortstop Humberto Arteaga to erase Weiss. Arteaga, the Royals' No. 18 prospect, relayed to first baseman Samir Duenez to retire Mathisen, by which time Jones had advanced to third base and was heading home.

Duenez threw the ball to catcher Frank Schwindel, who applied the tag to complete the 1-6-3-2 triple play.

"It was awesome, it was something you don't see too often," said Schwindel, a 2013 18th-round Draft pick. "The Power have been very aggressive waving runners around third base. I played first base for a couple games [in this series], so I saw they had a tendency to do that. When I saw them waving [Jones] around third, I knew there was going to be a play at the plate.

"In Spring Training, we work on things like that in PFPs [pitcher fielding practices], but I have never seen this one before. We just did it on the fly, but it was all pretty clean. I've never seen a triple play in a game before, so it was pretty cool."

The triple play was the first in the Legends' 14-year history and came on a day when Schwindel, a 21-year-old New Jersey native, recorded several other firsts.

Mired in a season-opening 0-for-12 slump, the backstop hit a solo homer and doubled for his first South Atlantic League hits and RBI. He spent last season with Rookie-level Idaho Falls.

"It was great," said Schwindel, a St. John's University product. "It was a good hitter's count, 2-0, and I was looking for a good pitch to hit. I was sitting fastball all the way.

"I was trying to get the head of the bat out on it. It was close to the [third base] line and I knew it had a chance. It just got inside the foul pole."

The last triple play in the South Atlantic League came last July 26 when Greenville turned one against Lakewood.

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @AshMarshallMLB.