CLEAR SPRING — When facing elimination, there’s only one thing a team can do — forget about it and start over.
After a rough 19-4 loss against Valley on Saturday, the South Mountain 9-10 All-Stars battled back against Clear Spring to win 4-3 and stay alive in the Maryland District 1 Tournament.
“Season starts over tonight. Every team is one loss away too. Just have to put a win up,” said South Mountain manager Ryan Humbel. “Don’t give up.”
South Mountain will host American on Tuesday night at 6 in another elimination game.
Against Clear Spring, South Mountain struck first. With two down in the first inning, Reese McLean reached on an infield error and scored on Brady Robinson’s single for a 1-0 lead.
Clear Spring put up all of its three runs in the second. Tyler Horst reached on an error to lead things off, then went to second on a passed ball. Another error scored Horst and left Cain Shupp on second. A sacrifice bunt by Eric Bender moved Shupp to third, and he scored on Jeremiah Kehr’s first-pitch single for a 2-1 lead. Cole Easterday doubled to left to score Kehr to make it 3-1.
It stayed 3-2 into the sixth when — three outs away from elimination — South Mountain hit the reset button.
McLean took an aggressive approach and singled on the first pitch he saw, before Robinson followed with his own single. Jacob Humbel’s RBI single scored McLean to tie the game, but Robinson was thrown out at the plate. However, a two-out RBI double by Avven Richmond scored Humbel for the lead.
Humbel got the win in relief by striking out all six hitters he faced in the fifth and sixth innings.