Clifton Park got a much-needed victory Sunday night to keep its hopes of advancing into the next round of the Babe Ruth World Series alive.
The host team scored five runs in the sixth inning to come back from a 4-0 deficit and defeat West End of Williamsport, Pa., 5-4 at Clifton Common.
Jeff Carter entered the game in the fifth inning in relief of starting pitcher Grant Cunningham and recorded the final five outs to pick up the win. Carter, who was rocked by Greenville, N.C., in last Friday's 12-0 loss, allowed one hit against West End.
Baseball is a game of luck, and it finally came to our side, Carter said. "I had to redeem myself after Friday's game."
Clifton Park's comeback was made possible due to two errors by West End pitcher Joel Worth-ington and left fielder Nick Keener with two outs in the sixth inning. Clifton Park's Travis Belleard scored the first run when Worthington dropped a popup by Dylan Cramer.
After Josh Lewyckyj walked to load the bases, Cunningham belted a shot to left field that was dropped, which cleared the bases and tied the game at 4. Carter then helped his own cause by singling up the middle to drive in Cunningham from third for the go-ahead run.
"We were in their face every inning, and we had to punch through," said Clifton Park manager Bruce Cramer. "We got a couple of breaks in the sixth, but we also put pressure on them."
Clifton Park entered the game with an 0-2 record after losing to Greenville and Waite Park, Minn.
In last Friday's loss to Greenville, the host team struggled mightily from the outset. Greenville's ace starter Paul McIntosh held Clifton Park to two hits with an unorthodox delivery and seemingly unhittable offspeed pitches. Cunningham was the only Clifton Park player who had any success against McIntosh, hitting a double and a single.