Green Valley baseball players stood in the dugout as they mounted a comeback against Liberty on Friday.
They jumped for joy when they finally completed it.
The Gators overcame a three-run deficit by scoring four runs in the seventh inning to claim a 7-6 road victory over the Patriots.
Senior Garrett Nelson pitched four scoreless innings of relief for Green Valley (13-10, 10-4 Sunrise League) and had an RBI double to trigger the rally.
He also scored the tying run on an overthrow by Liberty catcher James Katona moments before Gavin Amelburu scored the winning run on the same play.
“You’ve got to win every inning, win pitches,” Nelson said. “We’re trying to fight for higher playoff seeds, get home-field advantage. It makes all the difference.”
The Gators trailed for most of the game — despite an early 2-0 lead — after allowing five runs to the Patriots (9-13, 7-6) in the second inning. Green Valley then scored once in the fourth to set the scene for its dramatic seventh inning.
Nelson smoked a line drive to right for his double, scoring Josh George. Jake Empey added an RBI groundout, Katona overthrew the third baseman with the bases loaded as Green Valley completed its comeback.
The Patriots loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Nelson induced a harmless groundout to end the game.
“It went our way for sure when it mattered,” Gators coach Corey Gehlken said. “That’s why you play every strike, every pitch in a seven-inning baseball game … It worked out our way, but it shouldn’t have.”
Contact reporter Sam Gordon at email@example.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.
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