Late comebacks don’t come much later than Paul Carpenter Capital Advisors’ unlikely and impressive five-run outburst with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning on Wednesday.
Paul Carpenter, the leader in the Johnstown Collegiate Baseball League standings, overcame a four-run deficit to beat Laurel Auto Group 9-8 at Roxbury Park.
The winning rally started after two quick infield outs recorded by Laurel Auto in the seventh.
A walk and an error on a routine grounder provided Paul Carpenter some life.
Another walk and four straight singles gave Paul Carpenter a win.
“We’ve been resilient all year,” Paul Carpenter manager Dave Sheriff said. “We fight. We come back.”
With the bases loaded and down to his final strike, pinch hitter Cameron Spencer laced a single to right field driving in two runs to make it 8-6.
“I had him pinch hit for a guy (Mark Marino) who had three hits,” Sheriff said.
“I was just trying to get up there and find the barrel,” said Spencer, 19, a player at Division III Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. “It was kind of a late call putting me in there. I just had to find a way to do some damage.
“We never stopped battling. That’s the good thing about this team,” said Spencer, a resident of Scottsburg, Indiana, who is eligible to play based on a new league rule that permits teams to have two players from anywhere in the country on their roster. “We found a way to get it done.”
Lead-off batter Matt Privette beat out a slow grounder to second base on a close call to drive in another run. Corey Fogle singled to center to tie the game at 8-all.
Will Constantino fought through a 1-2 count to ground a single to left field. Privette was running on the pitch and easily scored the winning run.
“It was a great battle between two great teams,” said Laurel Auto Group assistant coach Ron Kakabar. “You can’t give a team like that any kind of life, especially with two outs. They did all of that with two outs. It’s always a battle between our two teams.
“This is probably the fourth time we’ve lost to them by one run in the last inning,” added Kakabar, who spoke on behalf of manager Joe Perez, who was not at Wednesday’s game.
Laurel Auto led 1-0 in the second after Logan Kasper walked and scored on Tyler Suder’s two-out single.
Paul Carpenter tallied three unearned runs in the bottom of the second as Fogle hit a two-run single.
Laurel Auto’s Dallas Hite smashed a three-run homer to left field to highlight a four-run sixth as his team took a 5-3 advantage. A walk and a Marino single led to Privette’s sacrifice fly to pull Paul Carpenter within 5-4 through six.
When Laurel Auto added three more runs in the seventh, including Hite’s two-run double to deep left, the visitors appeared to be in control.
“I came up in the sixth inning, coach gave me one swing. I took it and we took the lead,” Hite said. “I came back the next at-bat and was just trying to tack on more runs. I did that but we just couldn’t hold it up.
“It was a great game though.”
Hite’s grandparents, Tom and Cathy Hite of Altoona, made the trip to Roxbury Park to watch him play for the first time this JCBL season.
“They’ve got to come back,” Hite said, smiling.