You may have seen the trick play employed in a Michigan baseball playoff game before, but rarely has it been delivered with more conviction.
As reported by MLive.com and captured in the video you see above, Beal City used the classic fake errant pick off throw to second base to retire a key Muskegon Catholic Central (MCC) baserunner in the sixth inning on a regional final baseball game. The out was a key turning point in the game, helping Beal City out of a jam and pushing the contest to extra innings, where Beal City eventually escaped with a 3-1 victory in 10 innings.
Here’s how the play went down, compete with the finest acting job from a pitcher this side of Brad Lesley.
With an MCC runner leading off second, Beal City pitcher Ty Rollin swiveled and pretended to fire a strike back to the base. He never threw the ball, but the second baseman and shortstop converged on the base and both pretended to fail to grab the ball. Rollin put on an act that he was furious with himself, spiking his hat in disgust. The Beal City center fielder crashed in and pretended to chase a loose ball as the runner hopped back up and started toward third base.
That’s when Rollin snapped back into action, charging back and tagging the runner as he belatedly attempted to scramble back to second.
The move was just part of a masterful performance from Rollin, who tossed all 10 innings for Beal City, holding MCC to six hits in the process.
“We were going to win or lose with him on the mound. I went into today thinking, if Ty [Rollin] has to go 10 innings, you’re going 10 innings and Ty accepted that challenge,” Antcliff told MLive. “Other than that seventh inning when he walked the leadoff hitter, he threw a phenomenal game. I’m guessing he had 100 pitches. In the ninth inning, he was at 89. I’m like ‘how you going, good? I’m good.’ He wasn’t going to tell me any different. That was just an incredible, fun baseball game.”