The Tigers’ baseball team was down to their last strike against conference opponent, Monticello, trailing 3-1 with the game winning run standing at home plate.
Senior captain Devon Day was able to come through clutch for Princeton as the senior drove his offering from the Magic pitcher over the fence for the three-run walk off home run to send the Tigers home happy, winning the contest 4-3 at Solheim Field on April 23.
The walk off win was Princeton’s fourth in a row after starting the season with a loss.
“That three run home run to walk it off was about as cool as it comes,” said Princeton Head Coach Jordan Neubauer.
Coming into the game against the Magic, the Tigers had just pulled off another dramatic come for behind win over St. Francis the prior night to set up the opportunity to win their fourth game in a row.
Leading the charge on the mound to get the job done was Princeton’s Kevin Rahe, who picked up a shutout victory in his last time toeing the rubber.
The game between the two team started scoreless with Rahe and his Monticello counterpart trading scoreless frames to begin the game on the cold and rainy day on the diamond.
Rahe was once again able to keep the Magic scoreless, bringing the game to the bottom of second with the Tigers coming to bat. Princeton senior Thomas Rush was able to come through, knocking the first run of the game but that would be all for Tigers in the inning as the two teams headed to the top of the third with the home team leading by the slimmest of margins.
In the top of the third, Rahe ran into a bit of trouble, seeing the Magic cross the plate twice to take the lead from the Tigers. That score would remain the same until the top of the sixth when Monticello was able to add an insurance run, making the game 3-1.
That sixth proved to be Rahe’s last inning on the mound as the junior finished his day going six innings, giving up just a single earned run while striking out five and walking one.
Into the bottom of the sixth, the Tigers once again were not able to solve the Monticello pitcher, as the 3-1 score held entering the final inning.
With Mason Beltrand taking over on the mound for Rahe, he was able to keep the Magic from adding any runs, setting the stage for Princeton’s dramatic comeback.
With Cameron Jensen and Beltrand both reaching base, Day stepped to the plate. Neubauer credits Jensen and Beltrand for reaching base to set up the possibility for Day. “Everything worked together, Day is not in that position to do that if those guys don’t get on base,” he said.
With a strong swing, the senior was able to propel Princeton to their fourth straight win. “It was good week and we’re very happy with it and where we are sitting,” said Neubauer.
In his lone inning of work, thanks to Day’s walk off homer, Beltrand picked up the victory on the mound for the Tigers.
Princeton now sits at 4-1 on the year with a 3-1 record in conference while Monticello dropped to 3-2, with all of their games coming in Mississippi 8 play.
Now up next for the Tigers remains yet to be determined as Princeton will be sidelined this week due to health and safety protocols as the hot squad aims to return to play beginning next week.