Leesville Road is a win away from winning the Cap-8 Conference championship. The Pride used a sixth-inning rally to defeat host Millbrook 5-4 on Tuesday night.
Leesville, Millbrook and Heritage entered the week all within one game of each other for the title, with Leesville holding a one-game lead.
Leesville can win it outright with a win Wednesday at home against Wakefield. A loss would open the door for Heritage to force a co-title. The two could either draw for the seed or play a Saturday tiebreaker game. Millbrook is now eliminated from title contention.
“We played a tough nonconference schedule and we did that to prepare for a tough conference,” Leesville coach Guy Civitello said. “We started to get some wins in a row and that started to give us confidence and I think that really helped us out.”
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Millbrook (13-9, 9-4) got off to a hot start behind the pitching of Cole Leneschmidt. At one point, Leneschmidt struck out six of seven consecutive batters.
Millbrook led 3-1 through the first five innings thanks to an RBI double by William Gamble and fielder’s choice by Cal Teachey. Leesville’s run came on an RBI single by Shawn Sergeant.
Leesville (15-8, 11-2) trailed 3-1 in the top of the sixth, but the Pride brought up 10 batters in the inning and pushed four runs across. Leneschmidt, who exited the game with two on and no outs, struck out 10 in five innings of work.
A Chase Bessard sac fly was followed by a two-RBI single by Matt Wagner. Two batters later, Ian Cummings had an RBI single and Millbrook led 5-3.
The Wildcats cut the lead to 5-4 in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single by Casey Carnevale, but Leesville pitcher Jared Leins picked up the win by pitching the last three innings, taking over for starter Noah Latta.
“We were just a little off. They’re a really good team, obviously, and we have to be at our best to beat them and we weren’t quite. I’m really proud of the guys. It wasn’t for lack of focus or lack of effort, we just weren’t at our best,” Millbrook coach Austin James said.