BayBears turn first triple play since 2006

Thaiss, Justus combine on feat in 4-3 victory over Shuckers

Matt Thaiss didn't make an error and assisted in five double plays with the Angels this spring. (Tim Warner/Getty Images)

By Rob Terranova / MiLB.com | April 18, 2018 12:44 AM

Double-A Mobile did something Tuesday night against Biloxi that the team has not done in 12 years -- turn a triple play.

Ninth-ranked Angels prospect Matt Thaiss and Connor Justus combined on the feat en route to the BayBears' 4-3 victory in 10 innings over the Shuckers at Hank Aaron Stadium.

Video: Matt Thaiss and Connor Justus turn a triple play

"I've never been part of a triple play before. It's definitely something that's really cool," Thaiss said. "I saw that the runners were going on the pitch and the hitter put a good swing on it, but the ball took me towards first base. So once I caught it, I just stepped on the bag and turned it over to Justus and he did the rest." 

With the game knotted in the the eighth inning, 3-3, Brewers No. 7 prospect Corey Ray roped a double to center field. No. 22 Troy Stokes Jr. worked a walk off southpaw Conor Lillis-White and fourth-ranked Lucas Erceg stepped to the plate.

Erceg hit a 2-2 pitch on the screws into Thaiss' glove. He quickly stepped on the bag and fired to Justus at second. The ball was juggled by the shortstop, but Ray had gotten too far off the bag. Justus collected the ball and stepped on second to complete the triple play.


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"Matt made a great play on it, and it was a great throw to me too, but it got away from me. I think I got little too excited," Justus chuckled. "But I knew there was plenty of time to make the adjustment and finish the triple play. To be honest, we were all just kind of laughing at that point. It was fun.

"I've never turned a triple play before in my life. It's such a cool thing. It's so rare that when it happens, it's a great experience."

2018 Minor League milestones

Brett Dowdy and Juan Ciriaco completed Mobile's last triple play against Jacksonville on July 30, 2006.

The Shuckers got on the board when Ray stole home in the first. On the next pitch, Brewers No. 19 prospect Jake Gatewood blasted a two-run homer to left.

The BayBears responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame after a throwing error by shortstop Jake Hager scored Angels No. 21 prospect Brennon Lund. Two batters later, Justus doubled in Hutton Moyer.

Moyer tied the game for Mobile in the sixth when he crushed a 3-2 pitch over the right-field wall.

MiLB include

The game remained tied until the 10th when Thaiss stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and nobody out. The BayBears' No. 2 hitter lifted an 0-1 pitch deep to left field where it was caught by Stokes, but Riley Unroe -- who started the inning on second -- tagged from third and scored the winning run.

Milwaukee's No. 5 prospect Luis Ortiz (1-1) suffered the loss after being tagged for two runs -- one earned -- on three hits and three walks over the final 6 1/3 innings. He struck out 10.

Greg Mahle (2-0) surrendered only a hit and two walks over the final two frames.

Rob Terranova is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @RobTnova24. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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