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SALT LAKE CITY — Two teams comprised of players that were just entering their teenage years put on a display that would make any big league player proud. The game went into the bottom of the ninth and ended on a walk-off home run by Japan's Hajime Motegi to end the game 2-0.
The combined pitchers for both teams had a total of 30 strikeouts. The teams were tied through the first eight-and-a-half innings with a handful of spectacular defensive plays that kept the game scoreless.
One of the big moments was reliever Cheng-Kai Hu coming in to strikeout two in the eighth with the bases loaded.
The other great play was by Japan. There was no one out and a runner on first. Chinese Taipei attempts a bunt to move the runner to second.
Japan's catcher makes a play on the bunt and throws the hitter out at first, then with the shortstop and third baseman sucked in by the bunt the baserunner tries to round second with no one on third.
The left fielder from Japan makes a heads up play and covers third and gets the runner out. That allowed Motegi to swing away for the victory.
Breaking the 19-inning curse:
The Pittsburgh Pirates aren't known for being a great team. Actually, over the past 20 or so years, they haven't even been a decent team. Last year they looked like they could turn the corner when they were closing out July with a 53-47 record.
That all changed when they played the Atlanta Braves and lost on an apparent blown call in the bottom of the 19th inning. They were in the heart of the playoff hunt and could have made it back into the playoffs for the first time since 1992. They melted down and finished the season 24 games out of first place in the division.
On Sunday, the Pirates entered their game with the Cardinals again in the playoff picture. They entered the 19th inning tied 3-3. The Pirates' Pedro Alvarez homered to go up 4-3, then Pirates star Andrew McCutchen drove in two runs. Their starter took the closing role and closed out the Cardinals.
Now that the Pirates avoided one part of history, they can look at avoiding the other and make it into the playoffs. They are currently tied for the second wild card spot for the playoffs, a game in front of the Giants.
They are just taking precautions, he will be fine. Popped right up.
–BYU receiver Dylan Collie tweeting about his brother Austin.
The preseason doesn't count, unless a player gets hit really hard and has to miss some time because of it. The preseason has seen a few players go down with some local ties go down.
The first that went down is Austin Collie. The BYU product has a concussion history and in he second preseason game, the receiver got knocked hard and stepped out of the game. If BYU player, and younger Collie, Dylan knows anything about it, then his brother is just fine.
Dylan tweeted, "They are just taking precautions, he will be fine. Popped right up." So, everyone can relax Dr. Dylan has prescribed it.
The other injury with a relative tie-in is Charger and San Diego State product Vincent Brown who broke his ankle. Brown is in his second year and local college fans, be it Utah or BYU, will remember Brown for their last season in the Mountain West, where he was First Team All-Mountain West Conference.
Other temporary injuries include another BYU grad Dennis Pitta. Michael Vick, Brian Orakpo and Ryan Matthews are expected to miss very little time in the regular season, but will probably miss most of the preseason for as a precaution.