Sanders Shanks was cruising along and well on his way to a win. The Babylon righthander got the first two outs in the top of the fifth inning before allowing a bunt single.
An error then prolonged the inning and four unearned runs tied the score.
Shanks didn't let it deter him. Even though at times a win appeared elusive, Shanks persevered. He went eight innings and picked up the win as host Babylon defeated Center Moriches, 6-5, Friday in eight innings in Suffolk League VIII baseball.
"I didn't let it get in my mind," Shanks said of the fifth inning. "I just had to throw strikes and pick up my teammates. Throughout the game, we kept battling. This shows how strong our team is. It's our drive. We never accept losing. We were so down after our only loss and we don't want that feeling again."
Shanks allowed 10 hits, including several soft bloopers, one earned run, and struck out nine.
"He pitched a great game," Babylon coach Anthony Sparacio said. "He held it together through one bad inning. Many would fold in that position. He pitched several good innings after that."
James Quigley led off the bottom of the eighth for Babylon (13-1, 13-1) with an infield single and Matt Finelli walked. After two groundouts, a dropped throw allowed Quigley to score the winning run.
Max Watt hit a two-run triple in a four-run first inning for Babylon. Nick Giampietro's run-scoring single gave the Panthers a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the third.
Matt Schilling hit a two-run triple in the fifth to tie the score at 5 for Center Moriches (6-8, 6-8).
"We went into the season thinking we have all the parts to win," Shanks said. "If we keep this going, we have a great chance."