Make it six-for-six.
That's what the River City Rascals did on Thursday night at T.R. Hughes Ballpark, when they found themselves trailing after the Traverse City Beach Bums batted in the fifth inning for the sixth time in six games, but still managed to come up with a big inning during the late-going to pull out another huge victory over the Bums.
This time, it was a four-run sixth that proved to be the difference for River City, which then held Traverse City off over the final three innings for a final tally win of 8-5.
The season series sweep for the Rascals over the Beach Bums was the club's first in nearly three seasons, and raised River City's overall record this season to 42-41, which marks the first time the Rascals were over the .500 mark since early June.
Mathematically, the Rascals are still alive. But realistically, they're probably too far behind the Boomers to win the division.
But Thursday's win did pull River City to within 3 1/2 games of the league's fourth and final wild-card spot, which is currently held by three teams -- the Florence Freedom, the Gateway Grizzlies, and the defending league champion Southern Illinois Miners.
The Rascals final three home games are next weekend at T.R. Hughes, against Southern Illinois.
That could potentially be a huge series for both clubs. It almost certainly will be for the Miners, but for it to mean anything more than simple bragging rights and a chance to finish the year on a high note, River City will have to keep playing like it has during its current four-game winning streak.
Moreover, the Rascals need to keep winning like they have over the last two weeks, which has seen the club claim victory in nine of its last 11 contests.
On Thursday, River City put together two big innings to take down Traverse City, who grabbed the initial lead in the top of the first inning, when reigning league MVP Jose Vargas blasted his 12th home run of the season, with a man on and one out, to give the Beach Bums a 2-0 edge.
But the Rascals rallied for three runs in the bottom of the second to take their first lead, thanks to consecutive two-out RBI singles by Sean Borman, Steve Carillo, and Eric Williams.
Traverse City answered with two runs in the top of the fifth to make it 4-3 Beach Bums, continuing the remarkable trend of Traverse City gaining the lead after it batted in the fifth inning in all six games against City this year.
But just like it happened in the previous five games against the Beach Bums, the Rascals rallied to get the lead back and eventually win the game.
Thursday night was even as difficult as some of the previous contests, as River City actually tied the score in the bottom of the fifth, before putting together its customary big run inning in the sixth to take control.
Second baseman Will Block walked to lead off the sixth, then advanced to third on a one-out single by Carillo.
With Williams at the plate, Block scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch by eventual losing pitcher Kyle Teague (2-4).
Carillo took second and stayed there as Williams walked, but easily came around to score on a hit by shortstop Johnny Morales.
Williams then scored on a wild pitch to make it 7-4, before hot-hitting catcher Danny Canela got his third hit of the night and drove in his 50th run of the season, with a line-shot single up the middle.
For the season, the former North Carolina State and Lee University standout is hitting an incredible .372, with 11 homers, and now 50 RBIs in just 54 games for the Rascals this year.
Canela signed with River City on June 18, exactly one month after the season had started -- yet he ranks among the league leaders in all three triple crown categories, and would be easily leading the league batting crown race if he had enough at-bats to qualify.
Reliever Chandler Jagodzinski (2-1) got the win for the Rascals, after relieving starter Tommy Mendoza, and tossing 3 2/3 solid innings, in which he only allowed one Traverse City run and just two hits.
Patrick Crider, another River City reliever, pitched around a small bit of trouble in the ninth to get his first save of the season.
The second-year man out of Brescia University in Kentucky, had three saves for the Rascals last year.
River City will continue its second-to-last homestand of the season on Friday, with the first game of a three-game set against the Washington Wild Things.
First pitch at T.R. Hughes on Friday is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
RIVER CITY RASCALS REMAINING SCHEDULE
August 23 vs. Washington Wild Things ............ 7:05 p.m.
August 24 vs. Washington Wild Things ............ 7:05 p.m.
August 25 vs. Washington Wild Things ............ 6:05 p.m.
August 27 at Rockford Aviators .................. 7:05 p.m.
August 28 at Rockford Aviators .................. 7:05 p.m.
August 29 at Rockford Aviators .................. 7:05 p.m.
August 30 vs. Southern Illinois Miners .......... 7:05 p.m.
August 31 vs. Southern Illinois Miners .......... 7:05 p.m.
September 1 vs. Southern Illinois Miners ........ 6:05 p.m.
September 3 at Evansville Otters (doubleheader) . 5:35 p.m.
September 4 at Evansville Otters ................ 10:05 a.m.
September 5 at Evansville Otters ................ 6:35 p.m.