both base runners took off on contact and scored to tie the game. But Bennett was stranded at second a moment later when Dylan Nepert struck out to end the inning.
Wicomico got one of the runs right back in the bottom of the fifth, Booze earning a walk and eventually scoring on a Hurley double into the left-field corner.
But Talbot-Caroline came back in the sixth as Adkins began to tire. Scott walked and Tyler Stanley (3 for 5) followed with a bunt single. Alek Reidel followed suit and laid down a bunt too; bouncing quickly off his righthanded bat, it rolled almost two-thirds of the way to third base while Adkins and third baseman Holmes watched, thinking it might roll foul.
Reidel’s infield hit loaded the bases, but Adkins struck out Conner a moment later for the first out. Layton’s ground out to second moved all three runners up a base, though, scoring Scott to tie things up again.
Cassell, up next, slapped a base hit to right field, scoring Stanley and Reidel to make it 5-3. Adkins again got a big strikeout, this time of Saathoff, but Talbot-Caroline had taken a lead it would never lose.
Wicomico pulled to within 5-4 in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Green walked, Scott plunked Adkins for the second time; this play, the fourth hit batter to that point in the contest, elicited a warning to both benches from the plate umpire — and a walk to Burleson set up an RBI walk to Booze.
But then the visitors got perhaps their biggest break of the afternoon.
Connor Shockley hit a hard grounder back to the mound, which Scott stabbed for, but could only deflect. Luckily for Scott, it went right to Stanley, who had broken toward second base on contact. He scooped the ball up a step from second, tagged the bag to force Booze, and fired to Conner at first, completing a 1-4-3 double play to end the inning.
“That was a big play,” Buchanan said. “The boys came out here today wanting to get even for being beaten last night, and they played their hearts out.”
Talbot-Caroline added a single run in the seventh on a Reidel ground out, and another in the eighth an RBI Nepert walk.
Price, who came on in the bottom of the seventh, had a mission, as he put it. “I wanted to just come in here and shut them all down,” he said. “And I think I managed to do that. I didn’t want to be the one to let everybody down after all we’ve done, after all the work in the playoffs.”
The first batter he faced in the seventh, Hurley, reached on a throwing error by Scott, who had switched places at third with Price to start the inning. But Price shook it off, striking out Smith, getting Davis to force Hurley at second, and popping Holmes out to Bennett in center field. A 1-2-3 Wicomico eighth put the three-time defending champs three outs from elimination; despite two walks in the home half of the ninth, Price got Davis on strikes for the final out. Follow me on Twitter:
Ty Scott, who took the loss in Friday’s playoff game against Wicomico, went six innings for the win the following morning. He struck out three, while Wicomico went just 4 for 19 against him in his team’s 7-4 title-game win Saturday at Parkside High School.