A two-run homer in extra innings by Northern New Jersey helped send the Onondaga County All-Stars into the losers bracket of the Senior Babe Ruth 16-18 Mid-Atlantic Regionals on Sunday.
Onondaga pounded out 13 hits but lost, 9-8, in eight innings at Marcellus High School.
A two-run shot by Andrew Rigassio off Fowler's Tommie Spinner gave Northern New Jersey its first lead of the game, 9-7. Onondaga, who never trailed until that point, rallied to make it a one-run game on a RBI single by David Campese (Bishop Grimes) in the bottom of the eighth but the comeback fell short.
Onondaga will now have to win three straight games out of the losers bracket to win the Mid-Atlantic Regionals while Northern New Jersey is the lone unbeaten team in the double-elimination tournament.
Onondaga will play Metro New York 10 a.m. Monday at Alliance Bank Stadium and the winner advances to play Northern New Jersey in the championship. The tournament winner advances to the Senior Babe Ruth World Series on Aug. 4-12 in Newark, Ohio.
In the top of the seventh with a 7-6 lead, Onondaga was one out away from victory. Pitcher Aiden Wiese (Onondaga Central) got the first two outs but surrendered the tying run after a bases-loaded walk.
Onondaga led 6-3 after four innings but New Jersey kept chipping away at the lead in the late innings. New Jersey also finished with 13 hits but none were bigger than Rigassio's blast. Liverpool all-state pitcher Pat Brown started the game.
Mike McMullen of Westhill smacked a two-run single in the second inning. Auburn's Tim LoCastro had two doubles and two RBI. Dan Maloney of Fayetteville-Manlius collected a team-high three hits. Left fielder Nate Nigolian (Westhill) hit a double and also starred on defense as he reached over the fence to rob New Jersey of a home run in the sixth.