This isn’t the first walk-off steal of the prep season. In fact, it isn’t even the first of the postseason (remember Savannah Benedictine’s theft in May?). Yet it almost unquestionably is the most dramatic steal of home you’ll see this season, or perhaps anytime soon.
As reported by the Lima News, Tinora High of Defiance won its Ohio Division IV state semifinal matchup against Crestview, two games to one, when Tinora runner Logan Dickerson stole home with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Though the pitch from the mound beat Dickerson to the plate, Dickerson collided with Nate Owens, his force bowling over the catcher to bring in the winning run, capping a 4-3, walk-off victory.
“I asked [Dickerson] if he could make it and he said, ‘Yea, I can.'” Tinora coach Brent Renollet told the Lima News. “He left a little early, but it worked out. … Luckily, he dropped the ball, and it was good for us.”
While it might seem crazy for a coach to call for a steal of home with an entire season on the line, what’s even more wild is that it wasn’t even the first steal of home in game. As it turns out. Renollet called for another steal of home just an inning earlier, and that steal worked out, too; Derek Drewes stole home to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth.
If it seems like an oddity to see two steals of home in an inning, it is. Crestview coach Jim Wharton insisted he had never seen anything like Tinora’s aggressive base running on third, though he credited the base running strategy to a need to take a gamble against a stout Crestview pitching staff.
For his part, Renollet said he never doubted that both runners would make it home safely.
“That’s how we want them to play,” coach Renollet said. “We’ve done it before [but not this year]. We practice this.
“On the first steal, he was going from the windup and I thought we could make it pretty easy. The second one, he was in the stretch, and was a little more gutsy.”