PITTSFIELD -- It had been more than a few years since Pat Latini hit a walk-off home run.

"In Little League once," said Latini. "This one had a little more meaning to it, who we were playing and everything."

The St. Joseph infielder hit an 0-2 pitch from Jordan Barbarotta over the fence in left for a two-run homer that gave the Crusaders (10-5) a come-from-behind 7-5 win over city rival Taconic on Monday at the Doyle Complex.

It was a day where the Crusaders found themselves down 5-1 after 21 2 innings, but came back to tie the score with two runs in the fifth inning and the winning runs in the seventh.

The game might have been over earlier had the Braves cashed in on threats. Taconic left runners on in scoring position in five of the seven innings and left runners stranded at third twice.

St. Joe had the go-ahead run at second with one out but Devon Johnston hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the sixth inning. In the Taconic seventh, Joey Dewey reached on a one-out infield hit off of reliever Mike Carpenter. But Carpenter got Kyle Card on a pop out and Myles Candelet lined to Latini at short to end the inning. Neither starter, Taconic's Kyle Card or St. Joe's Johnston, were on the mound at the end.

In the home seventh, Zach Neary led off by working a walk against Barbarotta. The count on Latini was 0-2 when he hit a slider the other way, clearing the fence in left for the win.

"I had two strikes on me.


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I was just trying to put the ball in play," said Latini. "I just got a good piece of it."

It was a fairly even game. Both teams had eight hits. St. Joe committed four errors to three for Taconic. The Braves left 10 runners on base to eight for the Crusaders.

"This team over there [Taconic] is a tremendous team. [Coach Kevin Stannard] does a great job with his team." said St. Joe coach Dennis Murphy. "We had to battle today."

Neary and Jon Bianchi each had two hits for the Crusaders, while Carpenter had a two-run homer in the first inning. Brian Bonacquisti and Joey Dewey had two hits each for Taconic.

"It's definitely going to make us come and play better [today] against Pittsfield and Wednesday against Wahconah," Bonacquisti said of the loss. "We just have to keep looking forward and not harp on this loss."

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Taconic 302 000 0--5 8 3

St. Joe 201 200 2--7 8 4

No outs when winning run scored.

Kyle Card (6), Jordan Barbarotta (0) and Brian Bonacquisti. Devon Johnston (5), Connor Lein (0), Mike Carpenter (2) and Nate Stump. W -- Carpenter. L -- Barbarotta. 2B -- Taconic 3 (Mitch Clary, Alex Carusotto, Bonacquisti). HR -- St. Joseph 2 (Carpenter, Pat Latini).