TRUMBULL, Conn. — The Augusta 15-year-old Babe Ruth All-Star team looked like it was headed for an easy bounce-back victory over Vermont in Game 2 of the New England regionals.

As it turned out, it was anything but easy.

After losing a five-run lead in the seventh, Augusta had to battle through 14 innings to pull out a thrilling 7-6 walk-off victory over Brattleboro on Saturday morning at Trumbull High School.

Left-fielder Noah Bonsant went 4-for-6 with three RBIs and drove in the game-winning run with a single to left with no outs in the bottom of the 14th to lift Augusta (1-1), which will wrap up pool play against Cranston, R.I., on Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

“This was all about heart,” Bonsant said. “I think we just wanted it more than them.”

Augusta led 6-1 after six innings before two infield errors allowed Vermont (0-2) to score five runs in the top of the seventh to tie it.

But Augusta didn’t hang its heads, even after leaving the bases loaded in the sixth while collecting just four hits over eight extra innings.

Cody Taylor led off the decisive 14th with an infield single and Hunter Chasse followed with a sacrifice bunt. When pitcher John Peloso — who started behind the plate and caught 13 innings — bobbled the ball, Taylor went to third and Chasse (3-for-5) was safe at first.

Bonsant wasted no time, ripping the first pitch from Peloso into left field to bring home Taylor.

“He was throwing fastballs all the way through warmups and with him being a catcher, I knew he was going to throw one right down the middle,” Bonsant said.

Augusta manager Mike Bechard knew he had the right guy up at the right time.

“He had been hitting all day,” Bechard said. “I was just surprised they put a catcher in there after 13 innings. I was really surprised by that.”

Bonsant will need to find some hidden strength as he takes the mound Sunday against Cranston with Augusta attempting to earn its way into the semifinal round.

“This was pretty tiring,” Bonsant said. “It felt like we played two games, not one.”

Dylan Presby pitched the first six innings and was replaced by Cole Lockhart in the sixth. Devon Maschino picked up the win in relief after pitching the final five innings.

“This was a pretty up-and-down game,” Bechard said. “It feels good, obviously. Especially after losing a 6-1 lead.”

Augusta jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Presby and catcher Cody Taylor walked, Hunter Chasse singled and Bonsant delivered an RBI-single to left. Maschino brought in the second run with a bases-loaded walk. The third run came home on a double play, and Isaiah Magee ripped a two-out, RBI-single to left.

Vermont, which dropped a 3-0 decision against Cranston, R.I. on Friday, scratched back with one run in the fourth.

Augusta gave itself what looked like a comfortable 6-1 lead with two in the sixth on an infield error, an RBI-single by Taylor, another single by Chasse and an RBI-single by Bonsant. Augusta did leave the bases loaded in the sixth, which would help what Vermont did next in the top of the seventh.

Presby, who pitched the first six innings, got little help trying to wrap things up as two infield errors gave Vermont a jump-start on its comeback. Feeling desperate, Brattleboro started getting aggressive and stole four bases in the inning.


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