WESTPORT - Trailing by five runs in the seventh inning, the Beagles found themselves one out away from a loss to Willsboro, but refused to give up hope as they rallied for a 10-9 win in MVAC baseball May 12.
"These kids did not want to lose," said assistant coach Craig Russell. "They told me, 'Coach, we want to win this game; we're not going to lose this game.'"
Senior Luke Andrews drove in the winning run as Westport/Keene put together six straight hits to score six runs in the bottom of the seventh in a stunning come-from-behind victory.
"This is a team of nine solid hitters," said co-head coach Chris Markwica. "They can score as many runs as they want when they swing the bat well."
The Warriors jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with back-to-back first-inning doubles by Clayton Cross and Lucas Strong.
James Bell came on to pitch for Westport/Keene in the second and fought his way out of a no-out, bases-loaded situation, going on to strike out seven through five innings. The Beavers would build their own two-run lead using effective sacrifice hitting. Sam Earl finished with three RBI.
Willsboro would battle back, however, loading the bases again in the sixth on their way to a three-run lead. They would score two more in the seventh with a triple by Nick Ball down the right field line and a double to right by Justin Drinkwine, who went 4-for-5 in the game.
"My kids did really well today," said Willsboro head coach Andy Lee. "I'm proud of they way they got down by a couple runs but they fought right back."
"They played good defense and they hit the ball well," said Markwica of Willsboro. "They made every defensive play they had to make."
Cody Whitney reached base on a fielder's choice in the bottom of the seventh, leaving the Beagles with two outs and one man on base.
"I knew [Westport/Keene] was not just going to lay down," said Lee. "I was hoping we could hold them to one or maybe two runs."
But the Beagles played with nothing to lose in their last regular season game. Kevin Russell lined a double into right feild, bringing Whitney home. Sam Earl and Dylan Boyle each singled and Bell hit a two-run double that put the tying run in scoring position.
Jesse Stevens launched a double deep into center field to tie. Andrews then drove him in with a nice line drive into the gap to end it.
"I'm so glad it was him. He's a kid I've had for three years and he really hasn't had a lot of reward," said Markwica. "I'm really proud of him for having a great at-bat."
Westport/Keene 10, Willsboro 9
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Willsboro 2 0 0 0 2 3 2 - 9 12 2
Westport/Keene 1 1 2 0 0 0 6 - 10 10 2
Blanchard, Sherman (5) and Gowans. Earl, Bell (2), Russell (7) and Stevens. WP- Russell. LP- Sherman. 2b- Cross (Wills), Strong (Wills), Drinkwine (Wills), Andrews (W/K), Stevens (W/K), Bell (W/K) 2, Russell (W/K). 3b- Ball (Wills).