FTW: Minor Leaguer Steals Home and Wins the Game

Videos by OutKick

If you love good, old fashioned baserunning smarts, then you’re going to love this next story.

On Thursday night, Jared Oliva of the Indianapolis Indians — a AAA affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates — stole home in the bottom of the ninth to win the game for his team.

Take a look:

Now, there’s a lot to like about this clip, but we have to start with Oliva. He was not rattled when the visiting Columbus Clippers knocked in two runs in the last two innings to even the score. At his turn at the plate with one out, he smacked a double and then advanced to third on a groundout.

He knew the outs, he knew count, and he knew the stakes.

And most of all, he knew when to seize his moment. With two outs and a full count on the batter, the 3rd baseman was no where to be found, so Oliva took a tremendous lead.

Then, when catcher Bryan Lavastida lobbed the ball just a bit too casually back to pitcher Ben Krauth, Oliva turned on the jets and dove head first into home for the win.

Just a heads up play, all the way around.

Now, we have to take a moment and have a talk with our friend Lavastida. Though he’s struggled a bit lately, grabbing just one hit in his last 12 at-bats, he’s still averaging .245 and has just one error in the field this entire season. Overall, he’s getting the job done.

But, dude, if you’re going to check the runner, you have to CHECK THE RUNNER. He represents the difference between a loss and a shot at redemption in extra innings, so you have to be just a bit more careful. Take a cue from Oliva, a worthy opponent, and sharpen your situational awareness. Because this kind of thing can’t happen to you ever again.

But for now, we in the virtual peanut gallery are sure glad it did. Unlike in most sports, defensive plays are often the most exciting aspects of baseball to watch. The thrill of a diving catch or a solid double-play brings fans to their feet. But in this case, we’ll take smart baserunning FOR THE WIN!

Written by Cortney Weil

Cortney Weil has a PhD in Shakespearean drama but now spends her days reading and writing about her first passion: sports. She loves God, her husband, and all things Michigan State.


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