STANDISH – Nigel Cromwell scored the eventual winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning and Ben Goodall pitched a gutsy complete game as Bessey Motors rallied for a 6-5 triumph over Brewer to stay alive in the American Legion baseball state tournament Sunday at St. Joseph’s College.

The game was tied or changed leads five times before Bessey Motors took control by scoring two runs in the sixth for a 6-4 lead.

Russ Estes drew a leadoff walk and was sacrificed to second by Dillon Trundy. After Ben Ryerson singled, pinch runner Dan Millett scored when Cromwell’s potential double-play ball was dropped. Cromwell aggressively stole second, and Ethan Sutton delivered an RBI single.

“There was pressure on us today,” Cromwell said. “Coming out of the losers’ bracket, we knew that we needed to play together. Especially after yesterday, we felt that we had something to prove.”

Bessey Motors, which lost to Monmouth 16-3 Saturday morning, will play today at 3 p.m. Brewer, the Zone 1 runner-up, was eliminated from the tournament.

Goodall threw 135 pitches and appeared on the ropes, but survived repeated situations. The right-hander allowed single runs in five innings and often surrendered consecutive hits with two outs.

Brewer trailed 6-5 following Greg Higgins RBI single in the seventh.

“I felt comfortable,” Goodall said. “I had pitched here in the (senior) all-star game. The team needed this today because we hadn’t won a state tournament game since my sophomore year.”

Brewer grabbed a 2-1 lead on Prentiss Swett’s RBI single in the fourth.

Goodall led off the fourth with a double and advanced to third on Justin Frechette’s single, but was cut down while trying to score on a ground ball. Trundy then singled to load the bases and, with two outs, Cromwell smashed a bases-clearing double.

“That was a key hit,” Bessey Motors coach Shane Slicer said. “We needed it because we hadn’t had one in this tournament. It not only put us in the lead, but it provided Ben with confidence.”

Bessey Motors has had to rely on pitching and defense to win games, but the latter misfired with three errors. That led to Brewer tying the game at 4-4 on Rich Adams sacrifice fly in the sixth.

The defense made amends in the later innings. Yates snared a sharp ground ball, stepped on second and threw to first to complete a double play. Frechette made two diving stops at third base.

“Three of Brewer’s first four runs were unearned,” Slicer said. “It shows that Ben wasn’t pitching badly at all. Then the defense stepped up. The plays by Yates and Frechette were special. It’s the little things that add up.”


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