WEIMAR, Texas -- Cameron Godfrey was at the plate with Modesto Babe Ruth potentially down to its last pitch of an impressive 2012 season.
"Everyone's in the dugout, cheering you on, but it comes down to you and the pitcher," said Godfrey, going into his senior year at Beyer High.
Godfrey lined a 3-2 curve to center, plating the tying run and watching a second score on a wild throw from the outfield for a 4-3 stunner over Matthews Park, Ala., in the Babe Ruth World Series.
It sends Modesto's 18-and-under team (28-3) to the single-elimination round. Modesto, the third-place finisher in the National Division, will meet the American Division runner-up on Thursday evening.
Such an opportunity looked like a long shot two days into this tournament, with Modesto missing its top pitcher and losing two one-run games.
"The kids are showing that they can play well with their backs against the wall, and that's the attitude you want with single-elimination games coming up," coach Bobby Swedberg said. "We could just as easily be 4-0 with a couple of breaks, but you can't wait for things to happen."
That's what Bobby Schauer (Downey) never slowed at second base after Godfrey's hit.
Conner Torres (Beyer) was on second, with Schauer on first, and scored easily because he was running on the 3-2 pitch with two out. Schauer slid into third as the wild toss from center rolled away and Schauer trotted home.
Schauer threw five strong innings, but gave up two in the sixth and was relieved by Torres. It was the second consecutive victory for Torres, after throwing three innings of relief in Monday's victory.
"The difference I've seen between the pitching we see in high school and here is these guys don't miss on fastballs," said Godfrey, batting .333 in four games. "They'll come at you with a 2-0 curve, because they'll throw it for a strike."
All four of Modesto's games have been decided in the last inning and one went nine.
Thomas Longworth (Waterford) gets the start Thursday, after dropping a 4-3 decision in the first of the four games.
That would typically be his brother's start, but twin Russell stayed home after slicing tendons in his thumb last week while filleting a trout.
Alabama scored on a throwing error in the fourth one of three mistakes by a Modesto defense that is struggling before Modesto loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning. Matt Tyler's (Hilmar) grounder forced the runner at second, but plated the tying run and left runners on the corners with an out. Another grounder made it 2-1.
Alabama regained the lead with two in the sixth, the go-ahead run scoring on Torres' wild pitch. Torres shut down Alabama in the seventh, setting up Godfrey's clutch hit.
Torres also is the team's top hitter (.636), with Godfrey, AJ Derr (Pitman) and Cody Simar (Downey) batting .333.
Another statistic of note is that Alabama stole a base, the first Derr has allowed in four games. He threw out two runners the first day, and that's dissuaded others from going.