Dominican Junior Lake made history on Friday night in the Mexican Baseball League, by stealing three bases in the same inning, all consecutively in the sequence of the same play, in the victory of his team Toros de Tijuana 16-13 about the Mariachis of Guadalajara.
In the history of the LMB, only three players had stolen three pads in the same episode, and the difference may be that Lake is the first to achieve it in the same action without another shot being made to the pentagon.
History was written in the first inning, with one out, when Lake reached first with a single that sent Nick Williams home for the first of 29 runs in the game.
With Félix Pérez in the batter’s box, and special formation with the infield loaded to the right as third baseman Niko Vásquez passed to cover ground behind the infield between second and first base, Lake went for the steal of second base and came in swept safe with a header when catcher Bernardo Heras’ throw went wide and prompted Venezuelan shortstop Luis Sardiñas to catch it on the other side of his position.
INCREDIBLE! JUNIOR LAKE steals second, then on the same play goes for third AND THEN HE GOES HOME!
Literally, he stole three bases in one play.
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Seeing that no one covered third base, Lake got up and went to third base where they ran to catcher Heras and pitcher Jeremy Rhoades, to slide again with his head when he arrived first and despite the fact that there was no throw. Receiver Heras realized that the pentagon was left alone and started to run to cover it, but Lake came out and beat him to score and beat the shot that Heras could not catch midway.
The last player to record three steals in one inning before Lake was Carlos Alberto “Chispa” Gastélum with the Quintana Roo Tigres against Pericos de Puebla on April 22, 2009. Gastélum watched all of Lake’s action, as he was in the Mariachi booth as a third base coach.
“Chispa” Gastélum stole all three bases in the eighth inning in Tigres’ 9-6 win over Pericos at the Hermanos Serdán Stadium in Puebla. He stole second base while Carlos Sievers was batting and third and home plate with Raúl Casanova at bat. Víctor Jácome was the pitcher and César Tapia the catcher.
Alfonso “Houston” Jiménez was the first player to steal three bases in one inning, doing so with Puebla in a 7-1 victory over Córdoba on May 22, 1978. The second was foreigner Rodney Scott of Puebla against Tigres on May 23, 1985, in the fifth inning.
“Houston” Jiménez will now share the record of three consecutive steals in the same inning – he did it in the fifth – without an interval of one out, doing it with the same batter, although in those years the special formations were not used and possibly he didn’t after a single pitch.
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Historical: Junior Lake steals 3 bases in the same play in LMB