GARY | Paco Jordan allowed 10 runs to the opponent, so it was fitting that he was up with a chance to drive in his team’s 11th.
Jordan singled to drive in two runs and tie the game at 10 with two gone in the bottom of the seventh, and on the same play an error by the Gavit catcher allowed the Cougars to walk off with an 11-10 victory Tuesday evening at The Steel Yard.
The much-rescheduled game was West Side’s second comeback victory in as many years of the 11th annual RailCats High School Challenge series. The Cougars (4-6) upended Victory Christian last spring in the home half of the final inning.
Jordan had the game-ending hit in both games.
“(The dugout) was hyped,” Jordan said. “Everybody was ready. We kind of felt we needed to win this game. A lot of people put West Side baseball down, and we’ve got to come together to overlook that.”
West Side trailed 10-7 entering the final at-bat. Ken Stalling Jr. led off with a single, stole second and scored on consecutive wild pitches to cut the lead to 10-8.
After a walk, a dropped fly ball, two fielder’s choices and two singles — the latter a two-out infield hit by Tuquary Scott — Jordan singled to score DeSean Monroe and winning pitcher Byron Jones. Scott then scored the winner — his fifth run scored in the game — on an overthrow to third base.
“All I do is tell them the game is not over until the third out of the seventh inning,” West Side coach James Kirklen said. “I told the guys today to keep fighting, keep going, and we’ll win."
Jordan, the game MVP despite six rough innings, went 2-for-3 with two walks and two RBIs. The junior left-handed ace on a senior-less team unraveled in the third inning and allowed four runs to give Gavit a 5-2 lead after the Cougars had led 2-0 after one.
Doug Latham, the game MVP for Gavit, had three doubles, a walk and four RBIs. He broke a 2-2 tie with a two-run double in the third. After West Side went up 6-5, Latham tied the game at 6-6 with an RBI double in the fifth.
Teammate Chris Gomez, who had two doubles and two RBIs, gave Gavit a 7-6 lead in the fifth, driving in Latham.
“He left me some good pitches to hit, and I made contact and found the gaps,” Latham said. “Tonight was amazing. The field’s great, and it was just fun. It felt great, very energizing.”
Latham’s final double put Gavit (1-5) up 10-6 in the top of the sixth.
Byron Jones struck out the side in the seventh to earn the victory on the mound for West Side.