Thomas Johnson ends South Carroll streak, 6-5

May 22, 1994|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Sun Staff Writer

FREDERICK -- South Carroll's incredible late-season surge came to an end yesterday afternoon.

The Thomas Johnson offense had an answer for every Cavalier rally and pitcher Kevin Breckenridge pitched well when he needed to, striking out 14 South Carroll batters to lead the Patriots to a 6-5 win in the Class 3A West Region final.

The loss ended the Cavaliers' seven-game winning streak and served as Joe Foltz's last game as South Carroll coach. He finished his seven-year career at South Carroll with a 73-62 mark.

Foltz, whose electronics course will not be offered at South Carroll next year, was just glad to be there for the ride.

"I was pleased with the season. We started out 8-6 and then went 7-1 the rest of the way -- they should be proud," he said.

"It was tough, but I'm not really disappointed. We made [making the playoffs] one of our goals. We won six in a row and we were still sitting back and waiting for [Seneca Valley] to lose two out of three. We were glad to be here."

All the runs were scored in the first and fourth innings. South Carroll jumped to a 3-0 lead, only to see the Patriots come back with four in the bottom of the first.

South Carroll (15-7) took a 5-4 lead in the top of the fourth, but Thomas Johnson (18-5) matched that with two runs in the bottom of the inning.

Breckenridge was near flawless otherwise, retiring 10 in a row during a stretch early in the game and then retiring the Cavaliers in order the last three innings.

"We just stood there too many times letting too many go by," Foltz said.

"He was grooving that first pitch and we told them to go after it, but they were hesitant -- I don't know what the answer is."

After knocking off top-seeded Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 4-2, Friday, the Cavaliers got off to a quick start against Breckenridge and the Patriots. Tim Beck led off the first with an infield single to deep short. Brad Schulze lined a soft single to center, which Scott Malasky bobbled, enabling Beck to score and Schulze to move to second.

Kile Maxcy walked and Jeremy Hancock chopped a single past short to score Schulze. One out later, Todd Henry lined a single to center to score Maxcy, who just beat the throw to the plate.

Breckenridge and Scott Malasky both hit triples that scored two runs apiece to give the Patriots the 4-3 lead.

Roger Printz started the rally with a one-out walk. Fondtaine Weedon then hit a grounder to shortstop Tim Beck, who cleanly handled the bad hop and threw to second for the attempted force. But the umpire ruled that Printz was safe, saying second baseman Bryan Herche left the bag early.

"The first inning really hurt. We score three times and they come back with four," Foltz said. "We get that out and they only score one run."

Both starters settled in until the fourth inning.

South Carroll's two in the fourth came after two were out. White dumped a single to short center -- Breckenridge had struck out the five previous batters -- and Herche followed with a sharp triple to right to tie the score at 4. Beck then hit a line drive over short to score Herche.

Thomas Johnson had an answer. Malasky opened the bottom of the fourth with a bunt single down the third-base line. After stealing second, he scored on a one-out single by Brad Lowe. Printz drove in the game-winning run with a double down the left-field line.

Maxcy relieved White and retired the last seven Thomas Johnson batters, but the South Carroll offense was kept in check by Breckenridge.

"We scored, they scored -- they had an answer for everything we did," Foltz said.

It was the second time in three years Thomas Johnson defeated South Carroll in the region final. In 1992, the Patriots came from behind to beat the Cavs, 6-4.

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