Rising Sun gets past Hereford

May 22, 1994|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Special to The Sun

For Hereford coach Guy Fisher, there was only one thing more agonizing than making the decision to stick with tiring starter Jason Sparks with the game on the line in the eighth.

Watching Rising Sun center fielder Brian Thrash smack the game-winning single one pitch later.

On the first pitch after Fisher ended his mound conference with Sparks, Thrash stroked a fastball to left to give the top-seeded Tigers a 7-6 victory in the Class 1A, North Region final yesterday at Dundalk Community College.

In a game in which the Bulls led, 6-5, with two outs in the seventh -- and were just one strike away from victory -- Thrash's heroics put a dark cloud over what was otherwise a sterling effort by Hereford (13-7).

"I wanted to give him one more guy," said Fisher, of his starter, who had battled through nearly eight innings before putting men on first and second with one out. "That's always the question -- do you stick with him or pull him?"

Thrash's single, a liner into left field, scored T. J. DuVall with the winning run and sent Rising Sun's bench into jubilation.

"I just wanted to stay aggressive and hit the ball hard," said Thrash. "He was pitching mostly fastballs, so I tried to just wait on it."

For departing Tigers coach Tim Eldreth, who has won two Cecil County championships during his two years at the helm, coming from behind to win evoked a feeling he could barely put into words.

"You just don't know how hard we've worked to get to this point," said Eldreth, whose 16-3 team advances to this week's Class 1A state semifinals at Joe Cannon Stadium in Harmans. "I'm just feeling a lot of emotion right now."

There was a lot of emotion for the Bulls, as well, though it was quite the opposite of their opponents'. After losing in the regional finals for the second straight year, the only happy thoughts were those of returning to try it again next year.

"We did a lot of things right," said Fisher. "It was a good game, but we've got a lot of young players and we'll be back next year."

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