Northwood beats Laurence Manning in eight innings

One of the area’s best feel-good stories of the prep baseball postseason continues to get better.

Northwood Academy won its fifth consecutive SCISA class AAA playoff game on Tuesday night, beating heavily favored Laurence Manning, 3-2, in eight innings to take a 1-0 series lead in the best-of-three state semifinal series.

The Chargers entered the playoffs with a 7-10 record but have upset two higher seeded teams — Cardinal Newman and Ben Lippen — before Tuesday night’s come-from-behind rally. Laurence Manning suffered only its third defeat of the season, dropping to 16-3.

The two teams meet in Manning in game two on Wednesday night.

“We’re definitely not the most talented team around. but we always feel that if we’re in a game late, we can find a way to win,” said Northwood coach Bryce Florie. “These guys believe that something crazy is happening and tonight was another one of those deals. No one expected us to be here so there’s no pressure on these guys.”

Trailing 2-0 in the fourth, Alex Barros doubled in Hunt McLeod to cut the lead in half. Will Lloyd’s triple in the fifth tied the game.

Sophomore right-hander Kris Collins logged the entire game on the mound, scattering seven hits.

“He showed up today and told me he wanted the ball,” said Florie. “He told me before the seventh and the eighth, he wanted the ball. He did a great job. Our young pitchers have been really good in the playoffs.”

Barros led off the eighth with a walk and swiped second on a delayed steal. Barros later stole third, scoring on Jon Glee’s one-out bouncer over a drawn in infield for the win.