Clippers were sailing along Monday afternoon, leading 4-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning as they sought to extend their national-record baseball winning streak to 90 games.
However, arch rival Aquinas (Dover, N.H.)
suddenly erupted for four runs in the seventh and pulled out a stunning 5-4 victory, which left the national winning streak at 89 games.
Portsmouth coach Tim Hopley told MaxPreps today, "It wasn't like we had a long top of the seventh. The pitch count was good. The bottom of the order got a couple hits. It was one of those things where it kind of got contagious. They (Aquinas) didn't quit. They didn't give up. They just kept coming at us."Chris White
struck the killing blow when he grounded a two-out single up the middle to drive home Jordan Bean
with the winning run.
White told Foster's Daily Democrat, "I can't remember a much bigger hit than that. Doesn't get any better than that."
Winning coach Marc Schoff said, "Ricky Holt
(Portsmouth) pitched masterfully and they hit the ball up and down the lineup. It was just a great baseball game to be a part of. I can't lie. Jordan Bean (his pitcher, who fanned nine), like Ricky Holt, showed a lot of guts and determination."
Holt was 4-for-4 at the plate.
It may have been the law of averages catching up with the Clippers, because they had beaten Aquinas 10 times during the streak - including twice in state-championship games. Both teams were 6-0 entering the contest.
Hopley pointed out, "They are our big rivals, just 10 or 12 minutes down the road. They are very good and returned almost all of their players from last year. It's been a lot of good battles back and forth and they deserve the success."
Now, it's back to business as usual.
"One of the things we've tried to impress on our players is to kind of stay off the roller coaster - don't get too high or too low," Hopley explained. "We'll come in today and practice just like before. We'll try to start something new."
The Clippers will play host to Aquinas on May 21 and they could very well tangle a third time in the state playoffs.
"We have a lot of respect for them," Hopley stressed. "They would be games worthy or equal to what we went through yesterday."