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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 12:50 am

Boykin's hit redeems baserunning miscue

CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette

The backstory to Rod Boykin's game-winning RBI single on Tuesday night was that it came one inning after he was tagged out on an unusual double play that cost the TinCaps a run.

In the eighth, with Fort Wayne trailing 1-0, Jorge Ona stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and one out. His sinking line drive to left field was caught by West Michigan's Cam Gibson just before the ball hit the ground. Boykin, running from second base, was tagged out on a relay from Gibson to third baseman Anthony Pereira. Marcus Greene Jr. was running from third and could have scored, but the tying run did not count because umpires ruled Boykin was tagged before the run crossed the plate.

In a tie game in the bottom of the ninth, Boykin batted with the bases loaded and one out and lined a single for the 2-1 win.

"It was good today after that baserunning mistake that happened to us, which was kind of a dagger to that inning, for (Boykin) to come up and reedem himself like that was huge," TinCaps manager Anthony Contreras said. "Everybody was excited for him."

Contreras said it was difficult to tell if Gibson would make the catch in the eighth.

"The umpire called it and said it was a catch, so Marcus tagged," Contreras said. "I think Boykin kind of got caught in no man's land, like not knowing if it was caught or trapped. If it was trapped, he didn't want to get caught in between."

Contreras said the play "just kind of happened like that."

"It was a freak thing the ball ended up getting thrown right to the third baseman and Boyk was right there," Contreras said. "We'll talk about it tomorrow, what to look for, but it's one of those plays it's hard to coach. It's hard to emulate out there in practice. It's just an instinct play."