Despite playing without two of its best players, Dan Mutch State Farm Insurance never quit, coming back from five runs down in the seventh inning to win the Babe Ruth American League 14-15 championship 9-7 over Diede Construction on Monday.
The marathon game lasted for 10 innings and more than three hours.
State Farm didn't score until the sixth inning and by then was down 6-0. Brad Marweg started the inning by doubling to right field. He stole second and scored on an error. Albert Monte doubled to left field, scoring Brian Delgado, who reached on a walk.
Diede Construction gave itself a larger cushion in the bottom of the inning. Danny Glover reached on a walk and moved over on Cody Diede's infield bunt single. Matt Fuson plated Glover with a sacrifice fly to go up 7-2.
But State Farm wouldn't be denied. It loaded the bases on walks by Charles Etter and Mike Hutton, and a single by Michael Daijogo. Etter scored on Marweg's sacrifice fly to center field. Daijogo came around to score as Monte was walked, forcing a run home. Zach Massie had an RBI single to keep the inning going. Another run was forced home when Tim Ergonis was hit by a pitch. Monte scored on a wild pitch to even the game at 7-7.
"Before the inning, I told the players it ain't over until it's over," State Farm coach Andy Ellis said. "We lost our ace to an elbow injury and a key hitter quit, but we battled back."
State Farm starting pitcher Marweg shut down Diede Construction in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings.
The teams remained deadlocked until the 10th inning when State Farm took its first lead of the game at 9-7. Daijogo got on board with a walk, and stole his way to third before coming home on an error by the shortstop. Hutton, who reached on the error, scored on Marweg's double to center field.
Delgado, who relieved Marweg in the seventh, shut Diede Construction down in the bottom of the 10th, ending the game with a strikeout.
Delgado didn't allow any runs and recorded two strikeouts. Marweg struck out five, walked four and hit a batter.
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