Darkness halts Towson, Hereford

Officials call game after Bulls tie it, 5-5, on seventh-inning balk


March 29, 2001|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Hereford's Steve Goad said "`a fire's been burning in my stomach" ever since last spring's eight-inning, playoff loss to eventual 2A state champ Towson.

Yesterday, Goad thought that victory over the visiting Generals (1-0) was in the bag after crossing the plate to tie the game at 5-5 on a seventh-inning balk by John Rynasiewicz.

Goad was sure teammate Brad DuVall, facing a full count with one out, would knock in the game-winning run from second base. But fate took a cruel twist for Goad, one of eight returning starters, as officials called the game due to darkness.

"The base umpire said he could no longer see the ball. The home plate umpire concurred, for the players' safety," said coach Todd Hartshorn. "I want to finish this game, for my kids, and I'll do everything I can to make that happen."

The game will end in a tie unless necessary for league championship or playoff considerations.

Goad (3-for-3, with a double) tried to make it happen yesterday, giving Hereford (1-1) a 1-0 first inning lead by knocking in Mike Rostek, who singled, had an RBI, and scored twice and walked twice yesterday.

But the Generals (1-0) answered with a three-run third inning. John Karsos singled, and Ryan Valeri (2-for-2, three RBIs) doubled him in to make it 1-1. After Kelly Lange singled, Valeri scored on a dropped third strike to Ben Fulford. It was 3-1 after Nathan Beck's suicide squeeze bunt scored Lange.

In the fifth, Rostek's walk started Hereford's game-tying, two-run rally. Rostek took second on a passed ball and third on a force at first base before Goad singled him home.

Goad scored on Pat Nagle's hit, making it 3-3 and chasing starter Karsos (five hits, five strikeouts, four walks). Karsos' replacement, 6-foot-3, 250-pound right-hander Rynasiewicz, struck out the final batter to get out of the inning.

Rynasiewicz, who bats out of a left-hand stance, singled to start the sixth, and Evan Hunt followed with a double. Valeri, called "Flava Flave" by teammates for his smooth hitting, then hit a two-run double down the third-base line to make it 5-3.

Rostek's bottom-of-the sixth sacrifice fly to right field scored Nick Schultz, running for catcher Cameron Farzanfar, to make it 5-4.

"I play in the summer with some of these guys. My goal is to win this game, win in the playoffs and show them who the real state champion is," Goad said.

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