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LAFAYETTE — Before the miracle, Centaurus baseball players had their heads down, although not in an extreme sense. They believed they had just split a doubleheader with Slammers North to open summer Legion A play.

The Warriors, though, actually were down nine runs. They thought it was 10, meaning the mercy rule would be instituted after five innings of Game 2. But there was still baseball to be played.

“At that point, it wasn’t even a ‘win’ thing,” outfielder David Neitenbach said. “It was ‘let’s not go out this badly.'”

The Warriors followed with 10 unanswered runs to shock Slammers North 13-12, the clincher coming home when Tristen Archuleta scored on a wild pitch with one out in the bottom of the seventh at Izzy Salazar Field.

Centaurus was coming off a 10-8 triumph in the opener.

“It was a pretty easy read,” Archuleta said after Slammers reliever Nick Kakavas uncorked an 0-2 pitch to the backstop. “It was pretty far over his head, so there was no doubt I was going on that one.”

The Warriors trailed 12-3 after six, but started clobbering the ball after Slammers starter Brian Moriarty departed. They scored four in the sixth, highlighted by Nick Inslee’s two-run double, to cut it to 12-7.

“Everyone just all of a sudden turned on a switch after we put up a crooked number there,” Archuleta said.

Lance Matosky capped a scoreless, four-inning relief outing by blanking Slammers in the top of the seventh, but the right-hander had no idea that he soon would be anointed the winning pitcher.

After Brody Jaskul tripled to lead off the bottom of the inning, Matosky singled him home. Then Neitenbach greeted reliever Pudge Hamilton with a towering home run over the 403-foot marker in center to make it 12-10.

“I think he messed up, because it was down the middle right where I like it,” Neitenbach said. “That’s why I hit it so far. That was the first home run I’ve ever hit that, when I hit it, I knew it was going over.”

Allen was concerned the blast might serve as a rally killer because it emptied the base and served as a clean slate — but the Warriors continued to push. Justin Angevine singled, Inslee walked and Billy Miles was hit in the helmet (he was OK) to load the bases, and Slammers still hadn’t recorded an out.

Slammers summoned Kakavas, a tall, hard-throwing lefty, to close.

After Archuleta grounded into a force play, the bases remained loaded for Nick Kelly. He legged out an RBI infield single, and Miles then scored all the way from second to tie it 12-12 after Slammers shortstop Alex Eskridge had trouble getting the ball out of his glove.

Matt Wright singled off of Kakavas’ foot to again load the bases and push the winning run to third. After Kakavas got Jaskul in an 0-2 hole, he fired one well over the head of catcher Dario DeSantis.

“We thought we were 10-runned, and I walk up to the guys and say, ‘hey, let’s put something together,'” Allen said. “We just came back to life.”

The Warriors got in the big hole because of two disaster innings early. The first and third were very virtually carbon copies — six runs, four hits, three errors. The errors meant only two of the runs were earned in each frame against starter Kelly.

Zach Sattler starred for Slammers with a 3-for-3, three-RBI performance.

Centaurus took the opener behind winning pitcher Colton Royer. Angevine earned the save when he short-circuited a Slammers rally in the seventh. Game 1, however, likely won’t be the one that’s remembered.

“We’re a spark type of a team,” Allen said. “With a lot of the spring guys, when we’re on we’re on. When we get runs, we can just add on to our totals. It was fun to see.”

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Centaurus 13, Slammers North 12

At Centaurus H.S.

Slammers North (0-2) 606 000 0 — 12 12 3

Centaurus (2-0) 210 004 6 — 13 15 6

W — Matosky (2-0). L — Kakavas (0-1)

Slammers North hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Eskridge 5-1-1-0, Allen 3-2-1-0, Amador 5-2-2-0, Booz 4-1-2-2, Pickett 4-2-2-1, Hamilton 4-0-0-0, Crites 4-2-1-0, Sattler 3-1-3-3, Fiumara 1-0-0-0, DeSantis 3-1-0-1. Totals 36-12-12-7. 2B — Pickett, Sattler.

Centaurus hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Kelly 5-1-3-2, Wright 5-1-2-1, Jaskul 4-1-2-1, Pinkerman 2-0-0-0, Matosky 2-2-2-1, Neitenbach 2-2-2-2, Angevine 4-1-1-0, Williams 1-0-0-0, Inslee 1-2-1-2, Miles 3-1-1-0, Archuleta 4-2-1-1. Totals 33-13-15-10. 2B — Jaskul, Inslee. 3B — Kelly, Archuleta, Jaskul. HR — Neitenbach (one on in 7th).

Slammers North pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Moriarty 5-4-3-3-3-1, Pennington 1-7-7-6-0-0, Hamilton 0-2-3-2-1-0, Kakavas 0.1-2-1-1-0-0.

Centaurus pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Kelly 3-8-12-4-3-3, Matosky 4-4-0-0-4-5.