Danny Crossen came up clutch twice for the Sharks in their win-or-go-home wildcard playoff game against the Mystic Schooners Monday night at the Shark Tank.

So it only made sense he’d do it a third time to win the game.

With two outs in the bottom of the 11th, Crossen took a lead down the third base line. The Mystic pitcher soared a fastball high above his catcher’s head and Crossen took off like a private jet leaving the airport. The Sharks first baseman dove head-first into home, the ump yelled “safe!” and the Sharks dugout mobbed their hero in celebration of their 6-5 victory, and a trip to the NECBL semi-finals.

“Everything kind of just went quiet,” Crossen said, still catching his breath. “I took a little hesitation but I had enough time to get there.”

The Cotuit native finished the night 4-5 at the plate with two home runs, the first of which breathed life back into the Sharks and their fans after the home team fell behind 4-0 early in the contest. With Logan Chambers on first in the bottom of the 5th, Crossen crushed a change-up through the trees and onto Sanderson avenue to bring the Sharks within one run of tying it up.

“Honestly, I was just trying to put a ball in play,” Crossen said. “With two strikes I just wanted to make something happen, especially with Chambo on, I was just trying to hit the ball hard.”

Down a run going into the bottom half of the 7th, Sharks faithful evoked some Fenway magic with an emphatic rendition of Sweet Caroline. It could have been the $50 Cronig’s gift card awarded to the loudest singer or possibly the crowd doing their best to rally the boys that acted as incentive, but regardless, Neil Diamond’s classic did the trick.

Again, with two strikes, Crossen smacked a fastball down the left field line that wrapped around the foul pole to tie the game up at four runs each.

Relief pitchers have been a big part of the team's success this summer. — Aaron Wilson

“That’s the best Sweet Caroline I’ve ever heard,” said a Shark from the dugout after the homer.

While Crossen’s performance at the plate was crucial in the win, Sharks relief pitchers Alejandro Torres and Camron Hill were equally important in taking the wind from the sails of the Schooners. Hill earned the win after taking the rubber in the 9th and holding Mystic scoreless through extra innings. And Torres’ mid-90s fastball was unhittable as he struck out six through three-and-a-third innings of work.

“Everyone we have in the pen has been really good,” Torres said after the game. “At this point, with the way we’ve been rolling, you just pick a guy, put him in and they’ve been coming through. It gave me a lot of confidence that they chose to go to me and I’m grateful they gave me the chance and I just tried to give the team the best chance to win.”

The Miami native also credited his poise on the mound to his confidence in his teammates around him.

“Honestly, I was just trying not to do too much because it’s a win-or-go-home game and it’s happened to me before in the past. You tense up and try to do too much and I realized we have a really good team and regardless of what happens they’re going to pick me up and that’s exactly what happened … I knew that if I picked the team up they were going to pick me up.”

Next up for the Sharks is a trip to Bristol, Conn. Tuesday to take on the second-seeded Blues. The teams will play a best of three series with game two at the Shark Tank Wednesday; first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The games can be streamed live at https://necblnetwork.com.