McAlpine's walk-off homer leads Miners to upset of Allegany

May 5—FROSTBURG, Md. — Landon McAlpine went deep to left for a two-run walk-off home run in the eighth inning, leading No. 4 Mountain Ridge to a 7-5 upset win over No. 1 Allegany on Thursday.

The Miners (8-7, 5-2 WestMAC) rallied late, ending the game on a 7-2 run.

"Extremely pleased with the never quit attitude of the kids," Mountain Ridge head coach Todd Snyder said. "They hung in there. I told the kids to hang in there and be ready to go. When we went up there ready to hit the baseball, good things happened for us."

The Campers (15-3, 6-1 WestMAC) left several runners on base in the final couple of innings while Mountain Ridge capitalized on its chances.

"We left guys on early, we didn't punch them in when we needed to," Allegany head coach Jon Irons said. "We didn't execute simple baseball things. Our base running was atrocious. Those types of things we work on all the time, our execution was really bad."

Mountain Ridge trailed 3-0 through the fourth inning. On the first pitch he saw to lead off the Miners' fifth inning, Carson Bradley went deep to left for a solo home run.

"It was huge for the kids' confidence," Snyder said. "It was huge for Carson and the other kids to see they could hit the baseball and I think the confidence started from there."

After holding Allegany scoreless in the sixth, the Miners drew two walks to put runners on. McAlpine singled to left to make it 3-2.

Bradley singled to load the bases and Parker Ferraro singled to third, scoring two runs to give Mountain Ridge a 4-3 lead. A groundout added another run, making it 5-3 after six innings.

"We got Griffin (Madden) out of his rhythm and we got a couple balls to fall," Snyder said. "We were able to take advantage of our speed. We were able to run a little bit."

Cayden Bratton singled for the Campers in the seventh. Griffin Madden went deep to left for a two-run home run to tie the game. It was his second homer of the contest.

"That's a big hit, we've got guys who can get big hits in big spots," Irons said of the home run. "That's a big play for a senior to make, gives us a chance to win. But we didn't capitalize after that."

After the Miners were retired in order, the game went to extra innings.

After a scoreless top of the eighth from Allegany, Le'Uma Pua'auli doubled to left. Two batters later, McAlpine sent one over the left field fence to walk it off.

"I went in there and was looking fastball," McAlpine said. "He only had a couple pitches left. I knew he was coming fastball. Came with a slider first pitch, I knew a fastball was coming. I knew it was gone as soon as it left the bat, I was hyped."

The Campers led early after Madden hit a solo home run in the first inning. RBI singles from Bratton and Jackson Resh in the second made it 3-0.

"Griffin had a couple big hits today," Irons said. "It's good to see him swinging it well."

Allegany struggled to capitalize with runners on in the final half of the game as the Campers loaded the bases in the fourth but grounded out. In the final four innings, Allegany had at least a runner on in each inning but failed to advance them.

"We didn't capitalize, we had so many guys on base in situations where we could've punched runs in or moved runners up," Irons said. "We just didn't do the things we typically do and it came back to hurt us."

Through four innings, Madden was perfect on the mound. He struck out six and struck out the side in order in the first and third innings.

"He has great velocity that kinda sneaks in on you," Snyder said. "The way he slings it in, it kinda runs on you pretty quick. He's got several pitches, he was in the zone all day. That makes him even tougher to hit."

McAlpine started for the Miners and went six innings. He allowed six hits, three runs and five walks with five strikeouts.

"Landon battled, Landon's battled all season for us," Snyder said. "We ask him to go out and throw strikes, for the most part he did."

Evan Cook finished, allowing three hits, two runs and a walk with a strikeout. McAlpine and Bradley each had a pair of hits for Mountain Ridge.

Madden went 7 1/3 innings for the Campers, allowing six hits, seven runs and two walks with 12 strikeouts.

"I thought Griffin threw well," Irons said. "They stuck the bat out on a couple and got guys on. They came up with a couple big hits. Overall, I thought Griffin threw well. He was cruising for a while."

Madden and Bratton each had two hits with Madden's both being home runs while Bratton hit a pair of singles.

Both teams play on Friday at 4:30 p.m. Allegany plays Fort Hill at the Hot Stove Complex while Mountain Ridge hosts University.

"We need to bounce back tomorrow," Irons said. "We need to go out and clean this stuff up against Fort Hill."

Jordan Kendall is a Sports Writer for the Cumberland Times-News. Follow him on Twitter @JKendallCTN.