The Beach still trailed in the bottom of the ninth, but mustachioed leadoff hitter Brock Lundquist cracked a beauty of a double to left center to get the buildup going. Designated hitter Luke Rasmussen then popped up in the infield for the first out, followed by an Alex Muzzi dribbler to second for the next out. David Banuelos then struck out swinging and Fullerton punched its ticket to Omaha.
Just fives games separate first place and last place in the division, and while they aren’t the only one where things are that close-ish the Blue Jays are in last place in the AL East and six back, and the Pirates are 5.5 back in the NL Central the AL Central is where things seem the weirdest. The Jays, at 29-31, would be ahead of the Royals and White Sox. And the Pirates at least have the excuse of having a series of terrible things happen to them that put them in this situation.
The White Sox were supposed to be bad, and there was a high chance of the Royals being even worse, and yet, they’re both oddly close to the division leader. It’s only June, of course, so these sorts of things can clear up in a hurry. The Indians are about to face the White Sox, even, so we could see some separation in two directions after that series concludes. As of right now, though, the AL Central is a mess, and things are close enough that it could be anyone’s division.
Maybe if we’re lucky, the AL Central will give us what the 1994 strike robbed us of: a division winner with a record under .500. Come on, Twins and Indians and Tigers: you can all just be a little bit worse, for history’s sake.