I am not someone who often says “I told you so,” because, well, I am often wrong. But I have to say it this time REX fans. I told you so. I told you this team would keep bringing memorable and exciting moments and I was right. This team has had four walk-offs in a row at Bob Warn Field and three of them happened last week.
The first walk-off happened on Friday June 7. The REX were playing the Chillicothe Paints and they were down early after giving up four runs in the top of the first. After multiple scoreless innings the REX finally started to chip away at the Paints in the bottom of the fifth when shortstop Ethan Hunter hit a single that knocked in designated hitter AJ Fritz. After giving up another run in the top of the seventh the REX responded again when Hunter hit a two run dinger that brought in second baseman Will Hayes. Then center fielder Justin Jenkins scored on an error by the Paints. The Paints put up another run in the top of the ninth, so the REX were down 6-4 heading into their last three outs. Then it began. Left fielder Mitchell Garrity reached first base on an error. This was followed by Jenkins striking out. With only two outs left, third baseman Jacob Mulcahy singled to right field which advanced Garrity to second. Finally, first baseman Reed Hjelle stepped up to the plate and he made the most out of his short stint with the REX. Hjelle hit a three-run shot over the right field wall to walk-it-off and the REX won 7-6! Watch the Hjelle walk-off below!
After the high of a three-run walk-off home run the REX had a slow start out of the gate on June 8 against the West Virginia Miners. The REX gave up six runs through the first two and a half innings before Mulcahy hit a double and knocked in Garrity in the bottom of the third. And so the climb back started. In the bottom of the fourth, right fielder Aaron Beck hit an RBI single to score shortstop Brendan Sher. Beck went on to score later in the inning on an error by the Miners. In the bottom of the fifth, Mulcahy scored on another RBI by Beck and in the bottom of the sixth left fielder Jake Armentrout scored on an error by the Miners to bring the game within one. The Miners added two more runs in the top of the seventh to bring their lead to 8-5. Mulcahy scored again in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI by designated hitter Austin Weiler. Weiler scored on an error by the Miners to bring the REX within one heading into the final inning. The Miners went three-up and three-down in the ninth leaving the REX with three outs to tie or win the game. Beck scored again on an RBI by pinch hitter Fritz. The REX could not muster another run in the ninth though, so to extra innings we went. The Miners could not get anything going in the top of the tenth as they left a man stranded on the base paths. That is when the REX delivered. Mulcahy walked up to the plate and swung at the first pitch he saw. He sent an absolute rocket over the left field fence to give the REX their second walk-off home run in as many days. Watch the Mulcahy walk-off below!
The June 9 game had quite a different feel early-on against the Miners. The REX were leading 8-3 after five innings. This was in large part due to Mulcahy following up his walk-off home run the night before by going yard with a grand slam in the bottom of the second. In the top of the sixth inning the Miners went on a tear and scored eight runs to take the lead 11-8. We reached the bottom of the ninth and the score was still the same. Three outs lefts and three runs needed. Things looked bleak for the REX, but then the Miners' pitching fell apart. The Miners' pitcher, Nick Turnbull walked Decker. Then he walked Hunter and Jenkins. The bases were loaded for the REX without getting a hit. Hayes followed it up by an RBI to get Decker home. Turnbull then walked Weiler which brought in Hunter. After getting Fritz out, Turnbull walked Sher to bring Jenkins home and tie the game at 11. Catcher Brett McCleary then came to the plate and hit a deep sacrifice fly to score Will Hayes and end the game in another walk-off win. Watch the McCleary walk-off below!
The REX are 3-3 in games outside of the walk-offs in the past week and a half. They went 2-1 in their away series against the Paints and lost their only game in Springfield against the Sliders. They beat the first place Lafayette Aviators and lost again to the Paints at Bob Warn Field. The REX currently have a record of 8-5 and are in third place in the East Division as of June 14. Be sure to make it out to our next home game against the Lafayette Aviators on June 19 for Jimmy Buffett Night at 7:05 p.m. All fans are encouraged to dress up as Jimmy Buffett for the night!