For Southern's Jerry Fischer yesterday, there was no rest for the weary.
Fischer, who last pitched Sunday during tryouts for an all-star game, survived the heat at South Baltimore's Carroll Park with an 11-strikeout complete game in the Bulldogs' 9-4 victory over Gilman.
The win gave Southern a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series to decide the Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference title. Game 2 is today (3:45 p.m.) at Gilman.
"I didn't think I was overpowering today," said Fischer (9-1), who struck out the side in the fourth and had two in three other innings. "I was using the fastball and two curves, but I couldn't get the slider over. My shoulder was a little tight, though I'm not sure that was from Sunday."
In one stretch, Fischer caught seven of his eight strikeout victims looking.
But if his tight shoulder was not apparent on the mound, it was even less so at the plate. The cleanup hitter went 2-for-4, including a third-inning home-run to left, with three RBI.
The home run, his first of the year, came with the game tied at 2. With Gerry Gastiger on first, Fischer hit a Keith Kormanik fastball over the head of left fielder Scott Allan. With no outfield fence, the ball kept rolling, and Fischer rounded the bases easily to give Southern a 4-2 lead.
"[The pitch] was coming in straight and I was looking for [the fastball]," he said. "It was the first one I've hit good all year."
Said Southern (15-3) coach Bill Parker: "He's been struggling at the plate lately, but he got every bit of that one."
Fischer later added a single to left, scoring Jerome Gaines to make it 6-2.
Meanwhile, Gilman hitters struggled. None got more than a hit and all but Kormanik struck out at least once. The Greyhounds stranded nine and plated just one of Fischer's six walks.
"[Fischer's] just a great pitcher," said Gilman (20-4) coach Marty Meloy, whose team won last year's conference title by defeating Southern in extra innings in the decisive third game. "Early in the game we were at least putting the ball in play. Then, he started reaching back for a little extra and we couldn't even get runners on base."
Fischer's counterpart, Kormanik, had a long afternoon after retiring the side in order to start the game. With two out in the second, he threw a wild pitch on a strike out of Henry Vaughters. The ball bounced to the backstop and Vaughters took first.
Kormanik then unleashed a wild fastball over the mitt of catcher Lou Dimitri that advanced the runner to second, and Chris Broseker drove him home with a single to right to tie the game at 1.
He allowed six runs on six hits, as the Bulldogs batted seven in the third and nine in the fourth, before Kormanik was pulled trailing, 7-2.
Said Meloy: "He couldn't get loose out there, and the mound was giving him a lot of trouble. When it comes right down to it, though, [Southern] was on today and he wasn't."