TAMPA — Bayshore Christian first baseman Jordan Martin stood in the on deck circle, his team trailing Cambridge Christian 5-3 with one out in the seventh inning of a Class 2A, Region 2 semifinal at Interbay Little League, as he hoped for one more chance at bat.
After watching Evan Courtney walk with the bases loaded to trim the deficit to one run, Martin got his moment.
With two strikes and facing Cambridge reliever Henry Mesa, the Lancers’ third pitcher of the game, Martin knocked a fastball to the gap in left centerfield to score two runs and send Bayshore to the region final with a dramatic 6-5 walkoff win.
“My dad always said, ‘Sit on a fastball, adjust to the curveball,’ ” Martin said. “So, I was sitting on a fastball thinking about taking it the other way with two strikes, and it worked out.”
Bayshore (14-4) entered the seventh trailing 5-3 and struggling against reliever Ryan Block, who retired the Faith Warriors in order in the fifth and struck out the side in the sixth. Thomas Lake reached after a hard-hit grounder to first base wasn’t handled to lead off the inning, and Johnathan Gonzalez walked — sandwiched around a strikeout — to chase Block. Evan Holland, who pitched seven innings, walked to load the bases. Courtney’s walk then set up Martin’s winner.
“(Martin’s) one of the headiest guys on the team,” Bayshore coach Corey Thomas said. “He doesn’t let a lot rattle him.”
Cambridge (14-8) surrendered three runs in the first, but after scoring a run in the second and another in the third, the Lancers took a 5-3 lead in the sixth on a RBI double by Devin Lopez followed by a two-run double from Tyler House.
Martin and Conner Brown had RBI singles for Bayshore in the first, and Martin beat a throw home on a fielder’s choice for a 3-0 advantage.
“I’m more happy for the guys because they’ve been taking beatings over here for a couple years,” Thomas said. “Now I’m happy that they’re dishing them out.”