Two straight miracles kept the Onondaga East hopes alive in the Babe Ruth Mid-Atlantic Regional baseball tournament.
Trailing Winfield Baseball by three runs and down to their final out of the game, back-to- back errors by the Maryland state champions allowed Onondaga East to pull even.
A third miracle to hand them the win seemed even more improbable when second baseman Owen Dzaidos lofted an easy pop-up to shallow centerfield.
“Not three in a row,” Onondaga East head coach Mike Meola said. “Our luck had run out. I was going to be happy going to extra innings.”
Winfield centerfielder Ryan MacIver came charging in and called off his teammates. He slid underneath the pop-up, but the ball bounced out of his glove, allowing Hector Santa to come home form third for the game-winning run.
And that set off the Onondaga East celebration that had seemed so unlikely just minutes before. Onondaga East rallied for the 13-12 win over Winfield at Hopkins Road Park Friday to become one of four teams remaining in the Mid- Atlantic Regional.
The seventh-inning comeback was the second of two stunning rallies Onondaga East put together in the same game against Winfield. They easily disposed of Delaware champion Piedmont 13-2 in five innings earlier in the day to set up their contest with the Maryland champs. Both matchups were elimination games.
“I told our players this is why we coach,” Meola said. “For games like this. I don’t know if we’re going to win tomorrow. Odds are, we’re not going to win the tournament, but this is the experience. This is why we do this.”
Before the seventh-inning comeback, Onondaga East fell behind 7-0 after two innings. But just like in the final frame, they refused to concede the win and rallied to knot the score at 8-8 in the fourth.