Trailing 9-2 entering the bottom of the sixth, West Salisbury mounted a memorable comeback, producing eight runs without recording an out to stun Elkton 10-9 at Conococheague Little League’s Ebersole Field.
“I knew some of the boys were tired from the ride up and we’ve had two days off, so I knew it would take them a little bit of time to come through,” West Salisbury manager Pete Peterman said. “I had some palpitations there in the sixth inning, but everything turned out well.”
Ryan Teaman scored first for West Salisbury in the sixth, and the runs seemed to snowball after that. Ryan Mitchell and Dylan Smith both scored on an error that closed the gap to 9-5.
Jake Taylor and Jacob Long each laced an RBI single, and Taylor later scored on an Ethan Peterman bunt to make it a one-run game.
Seth Abbey scored Long with a single to tie the game, before Peterman scored the winning run on a passed ball.
“It’s overwhelming. It’s a whole different feeling,” an exhausted Pete Peterman said about winning the state title. “It’s another step for us.”
The game was closely contested until the fifth inning rolled around and Elkton broke loose for six runs, taking all the momentum.
Elkton was clinging to a 3-2 lead entering the fifth. Gavin Tereszcuk singled and an error on the play allowed Taylor Hayden to score. Austin Oliver crushed the first pitch of his at-bat over the “192” sign to center for a two-run homer that put Elkton ahead 6-2.
Matt Ross hit an RBI double and later scored on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 8-2. Austin Farrall added a sacrifice fly to score Nate Cullum and push Elkton ahead 9-2.
“For five innings, everything went right for us,” Elkton manager Chris Hall said. “We got the hits, made some pitches, got the breaks, but everything flipped in the sixth.”
Missed opportunities haunted both teams early, as Elkton left four runners stranded through the first two innings and West Salisbury left five on base.
In the end, it was West Salisbury that came through in the clutch. The team finished with a .438 average with runners in scoring position in the championship game, whereas Elkton finished with a .222 average in those spots.
“I can’t give enough praise to Elkton, they played one (heck) of a game,” Pete Peterman said. “And the host, Conococheague, was great. It was a great atmosphere to be in.”