Given the oddities of the game, a better ending would have been difficult to concoct.
Layton Robinson threw six innings then recorded all three outs at first in the seventh, the final one coming after chasing down an errant throw and tagging Joe Mathis on the foot before he got to the bag and the Rattlers opened the 2014 season with an 8-6 win over Mansfield.
The Rattlers led 8-3 going to the seventh when head coach Randy Loyd lifted Robinson for Brent Loyd. Brent Loyd walked Dallas Morgan to lead off the inning but retired Tristen Nason and Spencer Davis on ground balls to first.
Nason’s grounder, Mansfield coaches argued was fielded foul, but the call went to the Rattlers.
Still, with two down, Bo Patterson drove in one run and Michael Robles doubled home another and it was 8-5. Brent Loyd then walked Bailey McKusker.
McKusker was only in the game due to an ejection of Cullen Nicodemus after Nicodemus was called out at the plate trying to score on a wild pitch an inning earlier.
Shaeffer Loyd came on and uncorked a wild pitch and went on to walk Wesley Robinson putting the tying run was aboard for Mathis.
Magazine had broken open a 3-3 tie in the fifth that started with Brent Loyd singling. Shaeffer Loyd fouled off the first pitch of his at bat before an interruption. Starting their third time through the order, the Loyd cousins had batted out of order.
Because Shaeffer Loyd had seen a pitch he was replaced by third hitter Mason Suttles, but no out was recorded. Suttles fouled off three 3-2 pitches before drawing a walk. Robinson followed with another and the bases were loaded.
A single by Ethan Fairbanks and a pair of errors cleared the bases to make it 6-3 and Fairbanks scored on a single by Cody Shelton. The third error of the inning allowed Cody Cherry to reach and Drew Smith singled home a run to make it 8-3.
James Lovell was retired and Shaeffer Loyd, batting in the correct spot, popped out before Brent Loyd walked to fill the bases, but Suttlles grounded out to end the inning.
The Rattlers took a 1-0 lead in the first when Brent Loyd walked, Shaeffer Loyd grounded into a fielder’s choice and moved up on a ground ball before Robinson singled home a run.
Robinson lifted a sacrifice fly to score Shaeffer Loyd again in the third and Suttles, aboard on a single, scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0.
For four innings Robinson had cruised, striking out 10 of 12 batters he faced. Robinson retired the 13th straight Tiger before Mathis blooped a single over Brent Loyd at shortstop. Tyler James followed with a run scoring double over Lovell, who broke in first.
After Nason was hit by a pitch ninth hitting Davis delivered a two-run single to tie the game.