ROCHESTER — In a game where no lead was safe, the Rochester 13-15 Babe Ruth All-Stars finally held on to one, keeping their summer alive for at least a few more hours.

They scored a tie-breaking run in the top of the ninth inning and pitcher Jacob Metzdorf retired the side in order in the bottom of the frame to preserve a wild, 11-10 win over Twin Rivers in the state tournament Saturday afternoon at Simard Field.

After dropping its opener last weekend, Rochester won three straight elimination games and was one win away from the championship round when it faced Lamprey River in the loser’s bracket final shortly after beating Twin Rivers.

“It was a crazy game,” said Rochester coach Thom O’Connor. “They hung in there and battled us the whole way.”

By virtue of its 4-3 victory over Lamprey River, also in nine innings, Rochester advanced to the championship, where it will face undefeated Keene on Sunday (11 a.m.), with a second game, if necessary, scheduled for 2 p.m.

Rochester (4-1) prevailed against Twin Rivers despite blowing a four-run lead in the seventh after taking a 10-6 lead in the top of the inning. The host team, which also squandered leads of 2-0 and 5-4, escaped a bases-loaded, no-outs situation in the bottom of the eighth when it looked like all was lost.

“I think we’ve finally come together,” O’Connor said. “We struggled with that early in the season. I think it showed that we were able to bounce back after giving up that four-run lead, and still hunker down and realize that we have a job to do. They really focused in on it and did an awesome job.”

With the infield drawn in two runners were forced out at the plate. The final out came on a pop-up to shallow left field. Rochester scored the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth. Ryan Hervey walked, stole second and scored when Metzdorf’s infield grounder took a bad hop past the shortstop.

Metzdorf worked Rochester’s only one-two-three inning of the game to seal the victory.

The pivotal play came with three on and none out in the eighth. With the infield in shortstop Jack Sullivan fielded a grounder, bobbled it and then threw wide to home, where catcher Sam Farrington made a diving catch while keeping his foot on the plate.

“Sam did a tremendous job holding the plate,” O’Connor said. “The plate’s a lot harder to hold than a regular bag. He did a great job stretching for the ball and was able to maintain the plate. … For us to be able to get out of that inning with no outs and the bases loaded was huge.”

With the teams tied 6-6 going into the seventh a lead-off triple by pinch hitter Isaac Lapointe triggered a rally that included a two-run single by Kaleb O’Connor and a double by JJ Dorfman.

Trailing 10-6, Twin Rivers countered pulled even in the bottom of the frame with the key blows being and RBI double by Chaz Hibbert, and run-scoring singles by Noah Pearson and Connor Downes.

“I knew we could come back,” Farrington said. “I’m proud of the boys for staying with it and not giving up.”

Rochester’s other big inning was the fourth when it scored three times to take a 5-4 lead, highlighted by O’Connor’s two-run double and an RBI single by Metzdorf.

“My kids fought hard,” said Twin Rivers coach Mark Korenkiewicz, whose club went 2-2 in the tournament. “They came back from four runs down in the last inning. They had to make it happen, and they made it happen.”


In the second game, Sam Farrington pitched six strong innings and Abi Gomez worked the last three to pick up the win against Lamprey River. Brandon Dow reached on a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the ninth, stole second and third, and scored the winning run on a throwing error.

With the two victories Saturday, Rochester has won four consecutive elimination games.