CLARK, NJ - Arthur L. Johnson High School freshman Max Carmino hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning to cap off a crazy, come-from-behind win as the Crusaders defeated the Summit High School Hilltoppers by a final score of 15-14 Friday afternoon.
The Crusaders found themselves trailing 14-7 and their four-game winning streak was on the line as the game entered the bottom of the eighth inning, but they didn’t quit.
They scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, which set the stage for the bottom of the seventh inning.
The inning started with a single from junior Kevin Metz and then senior Brendan Stanzione was hit by a pitch. Senior Jordan Fedak laid down a bunt, but an errant throw allowed Metz to score and tie the game. Carmino followed with the game-winning single to send the crowd and dugout into a frenzy.
It's the fifth consecutive win for the Crusaders, who haven’t lost since April 15, when they fell short to Iselin Kennedy HS.
“I was happy that I was able to help the team win,” Carmino said. “I'm glad we are keeping the winning streak going.”
Long leads contributed to the craziness. The Crusaders held a 6-0 lead through the first two innings, before Summit scored six straight runs in the top of the third inning before the first out was recorded.
Johnson would re-take the lead in the bottom of third inning, 7-6, before Summit responded with two runs in the top of the fourth inning to take their first lead of the afternoon, going up by a score of 8-7.
They put up six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning that cut the lead to 14-13, setting the stage for the bottom of the seventh inning. The Hilltoppers never recorded a single out as the Crusaders took the game and momentum into the Union County Tournament.
“It was a crazy game which showed a lot from our team throughout the roster,” Johnson head coach Dave Kennedy said. “We competed for seven innings and by doing so, it allowed us to give ourselves a chance to win. Hopefully, this is another moment of growth for our team and we can continue moving forward believing in ourselves.”
The Johnson Crusaders (6-6) will travel on the road and play at Union Catholic HS in the 2017 Union County Tournament first round Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.
The Summit Hilltoppers (8-5) will try to rebound from this loss when they return home to take on Rahway HS in the 2017 Union County Tournament first round Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m.
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