It will forever be known as “The Lomax That Derailed the Choo-Choos.”
With Chatfield up 3-1 in games and 2-1 in the fourth inning of Game Five, Troy Tulowitzki rolled into a lomax triple play, the Applegate Paperclips took the lead in the bottom of the inning and the Choo-Choos never scored in that game again.
The series went back to Chatfield for Games Six and Seven, but the Choo-Choos’ momentum never returned, as Applegate posted a 4-1 win in Game Six and 5-2 win in Game Seven to capture the 2015 I-75 League World Series title.
It’s the third World Championship for Gary Kicinski and Applegate, and second in four years, having also conquered Chatfield in the 2012 World Series. Applegate’s other World Series win came in 1996.
“I’m still stunned,” Kicinski said hours after the games. “To think we nearly threw in the towel on this team after April … we just were very fortunate in the last three games of the Series and had a lot of things fall our way at key moments.”
It was a bittersweet outcome for Chatfield, which lost a 3-1 series lead one year after watching a 3-0 series lead go down the drain to South Grand Prairie.
Applegate had started the season 15-25, but shook off two months of ineptitude to storm to an 82-38 record the rest of the way. A trade deadline pickup of Ken Giles from Hickory added 46 unblemished innings to an already-strong bullpen.
But Chatfield presented an even stronger team that had made even stronger trades to compile a deeper bullpen, built for the playoffs and backed by two of the best starting pitcher cards in the set and a lineup stacked with players who were great both offensively and defensively. The Choo-Choos were the postseason’s top-seeded team after a league-best 103-win season.
So when the Clips headed to Chatfield for Games Six and Seven, their expectations of winning both games to come home with the title were fairly faint.