The third pitcher turned out to be the most effective.
Southpaw Alfonso White hurled 5 2/3 scoreless innings of relief to allow American to come from behind and eliminate West End 6-3.
American will host Maugansville in a losers’ bracket game Monday night at 6.
“The kids told me that we’re not leaving here until we win,” American manager Eric Stubbs said. “Once we brought in our third pitcher, the kids knew that we were going to win. Alfonso is our ace and the other kids back him up real good. When he knows the rest of the team is behind him, that pumps him up even more.
“He is a kid that loves to practice, and practice makes perfect. That extra practice helped him to be successful tonight.”
White gave up two hits and a walk, and retired the final seven hitters he faced.
“We did really good,” White said. “We swung the bats and we got the big hits. The double play by our second baseman turned the whole game around. I pitched OK. I just came to play.”
West End had a runner on first with one out in the second inning when a ground ball was hit to American’s Jasiah Stubbs. He tagged the runner going to second, then threw to first to get the batter and complete the double play. Stubbs made another great defensive play in the sixth.
Trailing 3-2, American scored four runs in the top of the fifth to take the lead for good. Isaiah Kershner led off by blasting a game-tying home run to center. Jasiah Stubbs and Dylan Wilson drew walks, Charles Somerville singled to left to drive in Stubbs with the go-ahead run, and Wilson and Somerville later scored on wild pitches.
American took a 2-0 lead in the first. With one out, Demontez Dorsey drew a walk before White helped himself by ripping an RBI triple off the fence in left. White came home on a groundout to first by Quiezhee Gantt.
West End scored three runs in the bottom half to go ahead 3-2. Isaiah Archie walked to start the rally and advanced to third on an errant pickoff attempt. After Tyler Baker walked, Archie came home on a wild pitch. C.J. Bright, Miz Norris and Alaric Hickman all drew walks one out later to force home Baker with a run. Bright scored the final run on an infield error.