Facing a four-run deficit and watching Peake BMW ace Blair Frederick pitch no-hit ball for six innings, Retif Oil relied on subtraction by addition to rally and win the American Legion City Series playoffs 5-4 at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium on Monday.
By virtue of its win, Jesuit-based Retif (15-5-1) draws a bye into the Legion State Championship. Peake advances to the next round, the Southeast Regional, which begins Wednesday, July 8.
Behind 3-0, coach Joey Latino assembled his team after it left the field before batting in the bottom of the fifth.
Retif’s hitters added 28 pitches to Frederick’s pitch count in the fifth. Jesuit loaded the bases on three walks, but Frederick, an LSU commitment, struck out the side.
In the sixth, two more walks added another 18 pitches, bringing Frederick’s count near 100. Still throwing a no-hitter, he was relieved to start the seventh inning holding a 4-0 lead.
Jesuit greeted the Peake bullpen with a pair of runs in the seventh inning, and then scored three in the bottom of the eighth to take its 5-4 lead.
“We started having more competitive at-bats,” said Retif’s Brandon Briuglio, whose line drive single delivered Andy Galy home with the winning run with two outs in the eighth. “I was just trying to find a hole and hit a ball hard.”
“Frederick was awfully sharp,” Latino said. “I told the guys . . . this is a good lesson in what the nine-inning game does and how it changes things. Once you get into the bullpen, anything can happen.”
Legion playoff games are nine innings, not the standard seven played in preps.
In the first inning, singles by Frederick, Chase Dolly and Kevin Stretzinger surrounded the first of four Jesuit errors in the game. Peake took a quick 2-0 lead.
“We gift-wrapped a couple of runs in the first and another in the fourth,” Latino said.
“But this team never shows panic.
“We got into the seventh inning and had three clutch hits in a row.”
Nick Ray led off the inning with a triple. After an out, Briuglio and Scott Crabtree both doubled to make it 4-2.
Ray’s sacrifice fly and a single by Galy drove home the first two runs in the ninth. Galy stole second, setting up Bruiglio’s game-winner.
Peake (7-8) earned the opportunity to play Retif by winning an earlier Monday game against Holy Cross-based Ponstein’s 13-2. The game, a makeup of a Saturday rainout, was shortened to seven innings by 10-run rule.
Michael Kirsch drove in five runs and scored one while collecting a triple and grand slam in leading Peake’s attack. His grand slam anchored Ponstein’s seven-run fifth inning.
Ponstein’s will also advanced to the Southeast Regional.