The York Revolution were one strike away from taking back-to-back wins when disaster struck.
A two-out error kept the game alive for Koby Clemens, who lined a walk-off three-run home run, giving the Sugar Land Skeeters a wild 12-11 win over the Revs before 5,111 fans at Constellation Field on Thursday night.
Having once led by six runs and holding a two-run lead with one out to go, the Revs instead lost four out of five in their series against the Skeeters, who lowered their magic number to two to clinch the Freedom Division's first half title.
The Revs travel to Lancaster to open the final series of the season's first half on Friday against the Barnstormers.
Closer Juan Rincon (1-3) recorded the first two outs in the ninth before losing Aaron Bates to a walk. Eduardo Perez then hit a routine ground ball to short that appeared to end the game but shortstop Manny Mayorson's throw was in the dirt and bounced away, as he was charged with his fifth error of the series.
Given new life, the Skeeters stormed the field as Clemens jumped on the first pitch for a walk-off homer, handing Sugar Land the wild victory.
It spoiled a big night for the Revs' offense, which pounded 18 hits including home runs by Andres Perez, Mark Teahen and Cody Johnson, who went 5-for-5 with a team-best four RBI.
The Revs built a 6-0 lead early in the game. Perez lined a two-run homer to open the scoring in the second, and Eric Patterson drove in another run on a ground-rule double to the right field corner, spotting York a 3-0 advantage. Johnson ripped an RBI double to right and Perez followed with an RBI single to right-center in the third. Johnson continued his big night with an RBI single to center in the fourth as York's lead reached its pinnacle. Revs starter Corey Thurman breezed through the first three innings, retiring the first nine batters faced.
Adam Godwin singled to right leading off the bottom of the fourth to give the Skeeters their first base runner. Godwin then stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Salvador Paniagua, before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Jeff Dominguez to get Sugar Land on the board.
The Skeeters drew closer scoring a pair of runs in the fifth on an RBI single to left by Russ Mitchell and an RBI double to right by Domonic Ramos. Within 6-3 and with the bases loaded, the Skeeters were denied more as Patterson made a great reaching, running grab on a line drive to deep left by Reid Gorecki to end the inning, possibly saving three runs.
Teahen connected on a two-run homer to left in the top of the sixth as the Revs recouped those two runs, taking an 8-3 lead.
Sugar Land erupted for six runs in the bottom of the sixth, going in front 9-8. Travis Scott started things with a leadoff home run. Clemens later singled home a run, and Ramos cleared the bases with a game-tying three-run triple before scoring the go-ahead run on a groundout to short by Godwin.
York came back to tie the score at 9-9 with an unearned run in the top of the seventh, driven in on a two-out RBI single to left by Wilson Batista.
Johnson capped his huge night with a two-run homer in the top of the eighth, giving the Revs an 11-9 lead. Unfortunately for York, it proved to be not enough.