WARNER ROBINS -- Trailing by two runs going into its final at-bat Friday, the Warner Robins American Little League East team battled back to beat Vine Ingle 20-17 to win the elimination bracket of the District 5 tournament and earn another shot at the Warner Robins West team that beat the East on Tuesday.
Dillon Toms slid under a tag at home to start the scoring in the top of the sixth inning, making it 12-11. Then Royal Prestons two-run single put Warner Robins East in front to stay, although a lot of runs were scored by both teams in the sixth.
Warner Robins East recorded 10 runs in the top of the sixth to go ahead. Vine Ingle came back with five runs in its final at-bat, but the East lead was too much to overcome.
Costly plays put it out of reach, said Vine Ingle coach Kevin Long, whose son, Andrew Long, hit two home runs Friday.
After a scoreless first inning, Chandler Ring hit a solo home run to start off the second inning for Warner Robins East.
Vine Ingle came to life in the bottom of the second. Matt Muses base hit sent the first run home. Benjamin Thigpen scored on a rundown from third to make the game 3-2, and Muse tied it when he scored. Later, Andrew Long hit a three-run home run to give Vine Ingle a 7-3 lead.
Ring had his second home run in the top of the third, and Warner Robins came back to take the lead with three runs in the top of the fourth.
Vine Ingle tied the game in the bottom of the fourth with a Sammy Martin single that scored Long.
Darius Clarington homered for Warner Robins East in the top of the fifth, making it 10-8.
In the bottom of the fifth, Vine Ingles bats provided another boost on back-to-back home runs, a three-run shot by Bret Welch and a solo homer by Andrew Long.
To end the fifth, the Easts Chandler Conger made a grab in right field that saved at least two runs.
Warner Robins and Vine Ingle each used six pitchers.
In order to beat Warner Robins West, Ring told his players after the game they will have to avoid mental mistakes and make routine plays.
Ring thinks his East team is in good shape to make up for its 14-3 loss to the West.
They want another crack at them, Ring said of the rematch, scheduled for noon on Saturday. We want to win it, just like they do.