It took OJR only one pitch to start its comeback as Dan Willauer rocketed the first offering in the bottom of the inning far over the fence in right. That was the first of seven consecutive runs by the Wildcats, capped by Ian Gervasi's three-run shot in the fifth, that gave them a one-run lead.
But Spring-Ford came right back with two in the sixth on an infield hit and a hit batter with two down and the bases loaded and Shane Warfel shut down the hosts the rest of the way for an 8-7 win.
Rick Palaia, Travis Kryder, Rich Gehman, Larry Perry and Steve Young all doubled in the second for the Rams (7-4, 7-6 overall) as they took a 6-0 lead.
Spring-Ford coach Bruce Brobst knew it was not time to celebrate.
"Not with Owen J,, no way," he said. "They're well-coached. They know how to play the game. I heard them talking in the field that they could come back. Willauer hit the first pitch after we scored six. I wanted Travis to throw a strike. He did. He hit it."
The Wildcats (9-2 PAC-10 and overall) scored another in the inning and put a third run on the board in the third on a two-out single by Ben Yeager. Then the hosts took the lead in the fifth when Willauer drilled an RBI single to right with two out and Gervasi followed with his three-run shot to left.
But Warfel walked, Rich Guthridge lined a hit to center, and Gehman walked with one down in the sixth. OJR reliever Anthony Clemens fanned the next batter, but Young beat out a slow bouncer down the third base line and Dan McGrory was hit by a pitch to put the visitors back on top.
Warfel escaped a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the inning when second baseman Vic DeVincenzo made a good play on a slow roller and then threw a 1-2-3 seventh as he was again helped out by a nice play by DeVincenzo to end the game.
"The first time they hit me pretty well," said Warfel. who threw 2Ï shutout innings without allowing a hit. "It was a rough outing for me. This put a lot of confidence in me. I have to give my defense credit. They made some spectacular plays behind me. I had a lot of confidence in our hitting. We're a consistent-hitting team. I knew we were going to put some more runs up sooner or later."
"Shane stepping up, that was just huge for us," said Brobst. "We had some baseball fortunes that helped us. The infield back with two outs and Steve hitting a slow roller and Dan getting hit by a pitch. Rich Guthridge had two hits out of the nine hole and Vic made two huge plays."
Palaia made a contribution even while striking out to start the sixth as he forced Hartzell to throw 11 pitches during the at bat.
Hartzell threw three scoreless innings after the rough second before being relived in the sixth.