After Wingate tied the game with a solo home run in the seventh inning, Mancuso ended things with a solo shot for a 7-6 home victory over Westminster last Saturday.
“We’ve always had some really good ball games with Westminster,” Woodward Academy coach Jim Minor said. “They’ve got a good program and we feel like we’ve got a good program. It’s always kind of a good, friendly private-school rivalry when we play them. It was just a great way to end this one.”
Wingate finished with three RBI and Matt Park added a three-run homer for the War Eagles, who have won 10 of their last 12 games.
After Woodward built a four-run lead in the fourth inning, Westminster pulled even in the sixth due to David Scott’s fielding error at short and pushed ahead 6-5 on an RBI single by Dalton Light in the top of the seventh, causing Minor to deliver these inspirational words:
“We got to win it right here in the seventh,” he said. “They went up and did it. I guess they listened to me this time. Sometimes they don’t listen.”
With one out, Wingate heard his coach clearly and lifted a pitch over the wall just inside the first base line for a 6-6 score. Then while facing a 1-1 count, Mancuso sent the next pitch barely over the wall in the same vicinity for the walk-off win.
“I was trying to go opposite field and he threw me in and I got the ball out front,” said Mancuso, who recorded his second-career home run.
“Wingate did a great job hitting the ball the opposite way and Mancuso got a ball he could pull and pulled it out,” Minor said.
McClain Bradley had two RBI for the Wildcats, who have lost the last three meetings with the War Eagles (10-6, 6-1 sub-region 6B-AAA).
Woodward also improved to 2-3 in one-run games.
“We were snake bitten early in the season but the kids have held together well,” Minor said. “I keep telling them they’ve got to keep their confidence up. I always tell them baseball is a game of confidence.”
With nine games left in the regular season, the War Eagles host St. Pius on Wednesday.