Six-run fifth inning propels West Brunswick to tournament final

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West Brunswick 8       Winslow (New Jersey) 7

West Brunswick erupted for six runs on five hits and three walks in the fifth inning to battle back from a three-run deficit as the Trojans held off a late comeback attempt by Winslow Township to hold onto an 8-7 victory on Tuesday night.

The Eagles carried a 5-2 lead into the fifth when West Brunswick batted around the order and sent 11 hitters to the plate during the six-run rally.

Brett Babson. Photos by Joe Catenacci
Brett Babson. Photos by Joe Catenacci.

‘We’re going to battle and that’s exactly what we did tonight,” said West Brunswick Coach T.J. Spivey. “That’s why I love these guys, because I know that they’re going to tough it out and grind out wins. We’ve played in a handful of one-run games at home this year and it may take a little while for our guys to get going–sometimes till the seventh inning–but our guys are going to fight.”

Tyler Stanley walked twice in the frame and Austin Turner brought in the go ahead run with a two-RBI triple when the junior left-handed hitter drilled a 3-2 pitch to the wall in right. Six straight batters reached base during the push as Zack Johnson, Brett Babson, Charlie Carcich and Jonathan Carlyle singled. Tyler McDuffie also walked and scored a run in the inning.

“Austin got a two-strike pitch he could drive and put a good swing on it,” said Spivey. “We were trying to get their pitchers pitch count up and thought that if we got it to around 75 pitches we’d be able to get to him. Give their guy credit. He was lights out early in the game, but we were able to put a few things together to get the big inning and take the lead.”

Winslow left runners on the corners in the sixth after two runs scored as Gray Cheers struck out Nojee Martin to wiggle out of the jam.

Hunter Ashburn.
Hunter Ashburn.

Melvin Reid doubled to left to lead off the inning and came around to score on an RBI single by Darnell Masionet. After an error at first Nick Kuriger drove in Maisonset to bring the Eagles to within one, but Carlyle came on in relief and struck out two in a scoreless seventh for the save.

Turner and Carcich each ended their day 2-for-3 at the plate with four combined runs batted in, while Hunter Ashburn doubled. Kuriger had three hits, Melvin scored a pair of runs and Maisonet reached base four times to pace the Eagles lineup.

“Gray came in a threw some quality pitches and that’s baseball sometimes when you make a pitch the ball doesn’t even leave the infield and you give up a run,” said Spivey. “I think we grinded it out tonight and look forward to a great atmosphere tomorrow night.”

The Trojans take on North Brunswick in the tournament finals at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Winslow Township faces Harrells Christian in the third-place consolation game at 4 p.m.

Box score                       R H E

Winslow  001  222  0     7   8   2

West         010  160 X    8   9   3