Now this was team of destiny kind of stuff.
No, seriously. It was the kind of thing that only seems to happen to teams that are destined for some kind of special postseason run.
The red-hot River City Rascals were down 5-0 going into the bottom of the eighth inning, Saturday night against the Southern Illinois Miners, in another critical late season Frontier League baseball game at T.R. Hughes Ballpark in O'Fallon.
But thanks to an incredible six-run rally that just about qualifies as a miracle -- and boy, did it feel like a miracle when Will Block hit a grand slam home run to tie it, and then Sean Borman followed with a solo homer to take the lead -- River City won for the 16th time in its last 19 games, 6-5, over visiting Southern Illinois.
The Miners, who just a week ago were the team in the catbird seat with sole possession of the league's fourth and final playoff spot, lost two of three to the Gateway Grizzlies earlier this week, and have now lost two in a row to the Rascals as well, to fall to two games behind the lead and completely behind all three teams that were chasing them when the week began.
River City, now 49-42 on the season, is 1 1/2 games behind the Florence Freedom, who are now the wild card leaders with a 51-41 record. The crosstown rival Grizzlies are sandwiched in between at one game behind Florence, with a 50-42 record.
But the team playing the best right now, and the team that no other team would want to have to face in the playoffs right now is the Rascals, who after rolling through 15 of 18 opponents heading into Saturday night, pulled off one of the greatest rallies in team history to keep their postseason hopes alive.
Southern Illinois was cruising.
Starting pitcher Travis Bradshaw had one of his best games of the season, going 6 2/3 innings, with no runs allowed and just six hits for the Rascals, while striking out six and walking just one.
He faced a slight bit a danger in the seventh, when River City put runners on the corners with two outs. But reliever Matt Crim came in to get the final out and keep the Miners ahead 3-0 at the time.
Then in the top of the eighth, Southern Illinois added two more runs to its lead to go ahead 5-0 heading into the fateful home half of the inning.
Johnny Morales, Danny Canela, and Evan Crawford all reached to load the bases with one out for Curran Redal, who lashed a single that scored Morales and got River City on the board.
Moments later is when the craziness began.
First, the Rascals second baseman Block -- a former Southern Illinois Miner as recently as last year -- got every single bit of a fastball from Crim and drove it deep into the night and way over the wall in left, for a grand slam that tied the score at 5.
Then, with the 2,868 fans that paid to see it still buzzing about what Block had done, Borman stepped to the plate and launched his own moonshot homer off Crim, over the Stan Musial porch in right-center field to give River City an improbable, inconceivable, and flat-out unbelievable 6-5 lead.
Block's homer was his 12th of the year and Borman's blast was his first of the season and also the first home run of the rookie from St. Cloud State's career.
Closer Gabriel Shaw threw a perfect ninth to get the save -- his league-leading 26th of the season -- and somehow, in just about the most dramatic way possible, the Rascals had snatched a hugely important victory from the jaws of defeat.
The final game of the series and the final home game of the season for River City (unless it makes the playoffs) is Sunday night at T.R. Hughes. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m.
After that, the Rascals will have only four games left in the regular season, including a doubleheader in Evansville, Ind., on Tuesday, followed by single games on Wednesday and Thursday to close out the 2013 slate.
So that means River City has just five chances left to make up the ground it needs to somehow make the playoffs.
But if the Rascals can keep pulling out wins like they did on Saturday, making up that ground will be a breeze.
Or better yet, it'll be a blast or even a double blast, like the ones Block and Borman hit to win the game on Saturday night.
RIVER CITY RASCALS REMAINING SCHEDULE
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.