The Fredericton Peterbilt DQ Royals were on the verge of losing two straight games for the first time this season. With runners on first and third, down three runs, catcher Jody Peterson stepped to the plate. Peterson promptly cleared the bases, sending a long home run over the right field fence and the game into extra innings.
“I’m typically trying to hit the church anyway,” said Peterson in reference to Capital Community Church, located well over the right field fence. “I guess in the back of my mind I was just thinking try to get a good pitch and see if I can get a good piece of it. I knew we needed two or three runs to get back into it, and I was looking for something to drive hoping to get it out of the park. I was fortunate to get a pitch around the belt and I was able to get into it to push the game into extra innings.”
It wasn’t until the bottom of the tenth inning that the Royals were able to score again, on a brilliant suicide squeeze from the Royals’ third reliever of the night, Jake Waugh.
The scoring got started by Mike Washburn, as the centerfielder led off the second inning with a home run to straight away centerfield. That is where the miscues began for the Moncton Mets, as the Royals sent nine batters to the plate in the inning. The Royals would score three times on one hit and three Mets’ errors to take a three nothing lead.
The Mets got one back in the top of the third on a solo home run, but that would be all the scoring done by them until the fifth inning when starter Troy Bishop found himself in a jam, allowing two runs before putting loading the bases and turning the game over to Steve McCarty. McCarty in turn allowed one inherited runner before getting out of the jam, limiting the damage to three runs.
The fireworks began in the seventh inning when the Mets pushed their lead to 7-4 on a Dan Gusovsky home run. Gusovskys 2nd home run of the game was an absolute tape measure shot to left field. That home run signaled the end of McCarty’s night, as Phil “Digger” Merrill came in to stop the bleeding. Digger escaped the inning with no more damage, but the stage was set for Peterson to knot it up in the bottom of the inning.
There was no more action until the bottom of the tenth inning as the Royals got runners on first and third with one out and pitcher Jake Waugh stepping to the plate for his first plate appearance of the year. The Mets held a conference on the mound to talk about what they were going to do. During this time Waugh jogged down to coach Mike Lint to talk about what he was going to do, and out of everyone at the field, it was only those two who knew what was going to come next. After taking a hack and fouling off the first pitch, on the second pitch Mike Washburn broke for home and Waugh squared up to bunt, laying down a text book suicide squeeze for the walk off win.
“The squeeze wasn’t designed off the start,” said manager Mike Lint. “I was surprised they pitched to Digger to get to Jake. When Jake was coming up I started to walk towards him to ask him about putting down the squeeze, and he was pretty much running towards me and said, ‘I can get it down’ before I even mentioned it. So I said you’ve got one swing, second one’s the squeeze. So I told Washburn on third second pitch squeeze, automatic.”
The Royals will travel to Chatham on Thursday to take on the Ironmen before returning home on Friday to host the Hub City Brewers. First pitch is 7:30 on Baseball Hill. Don’t forget to check out the Royals on Facebook and Twitter @fredroyals.