After trailing 3-0 in the sixth inning, Brother Martin-based Peake BMW rallied to beat Jesuit-based Retif Oil 5-3 Tuesday afternoon in the American Legion District 1 title game at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium.
Both teams advance to play in the regional tournament Saturday at Delgado Community College’s home field.
“The biggest thing is, we talked to them about staying focused,” Peake coach Mark Wisniewski said. “We know it’s a long game, going nine innings — a different concept than what we do during prep (season).”
Peake (14-3-1) tied the game in the sixth when Raphael Deroche hit an RBI double, followed by an RBI single from Jonathan Parker.
In the seventh, Peake’s Joel Bergeron made a diving catch in right field to end the inning and keep Retif Oil from scoring two more runs.
But in the ninth, Peake’s Michael Kirsch singled to load the bases. Then Retif reliever Sean Bretz walked two straight with two outs, allowing Luke Bernard and Joel Bergeron to score.
Wisniewski knew his team could still win the game after falling behind.
“Knowing that even at 3-0, we weren’t out of this if we do some good things,” he said. “We had some opportunities, and we did have that early. We just didn’t take advantage of it.”
Peake was led by Kirsch, who went 3-for-5 and scored a run, and Deroche, who went 3-for-4 with a run and two RBIs.
“I’m not going to lie,” Deroche said. “I’m kind of surprised by our performance, that we played so well. We had a doubleheader yesterday, so I knew we were going to come out tired. I was a little sore, honestly. We came out strong. We hit the ball good and made plays in the field.”
Retif Oil (13-6) got its first run in the second inning when Matt Cedro drew a bases-loaded walk to bring in Brandon Briuglio.
In the fifth, Retif went up 3-0 when Scott Crabtree singled to bring in Cedro and Nick Ray.
Peake moved Frederick to center field after 4.1 innings and brought Bernard to the mound. Parker Oubre finished the game. Peake’s pitchers held Retif Oil to four hits.
Retif Oil started Briuglio, who lasted 5.1 innings. He was followed by Logan Hornung, who went 2.2 innings. Bretz and Christian Latino split the last inning.
“We’ve got to throw more strikes,” Retif Oil coach Joey Latino said. “Sean (Bretz) had a tough day today, but he’s been very good for us all summer. It’s just a tough situation for him to be in today, but that’s part of his growing and maturation process. Briuglio pitched extremely well for us and put us in a position to win. I just didn’t think we executed.”
With Retif’s season continuing, Latino said his team will work on the deficiencies from Tuesday.
“That’s the key, we just have to get back to work,” Latino said. “There are some things we need to polish. There are some things we need to do fundamentally better, and that’s what we’re going to focus on in the next few days.”