No. 10 Mt. Hebron edges River Hill

Crow's game-winning RBI, pitching lift Vikings, 7-6

Baseball

April 16, 2002|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Mount Hebron's league-leading No. 10-ranked baseball team keeps coming from behind, displaying an unselfish attitude and finding unlikely ways to win

Yesterday, senior Steve Crow got the first game-winning hit of his high school career in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat River Hill, 7-6.

Crow also pitched the seventh and eighth innings, shutting out the Hawks to even his record at 2-2.

"Someone different is picking us up every game," said coach Matt Forsyth. "Steve wanted to play left field this season, but he has a strong arm and is a great athlete, so I asked him to catch and pitch, things he hasn't done before. And he's done a great job. Some kids wouldn't have accepted it, and would have given a half-hearted effort. But he's been gung-ho about everything."

Crow, who is 5-foot-8 and 138 pounds and quarterbacked the football team to its first winning record (6-4) in 14 years, throws a baseball 83 miles an hour. He mixed a fastball, curveball and changeup yesterday.

"I've been blessed with a strong arm for someone my size," he said. "Three of my first four pitches were curves. I was trying to keep them off balance."

Crow relieved John Zabel, his wide receiver in football to whom he threw 44 passes, 14 of them for touchdowns. Zabel pitched six innings, refusing to come out in the fifth inning after River Hill banged him around for five runs and five hits.

The Vikings (8-2 overall, 7-1 league) scored their winning run off reliever Kevin Marrie. With one out, Nick Hoffner struck out on a pitch in the dirt and reached first base. Then, cleanup batter Adam Grap, a switch-hitter, caught the Hawks (5-4-1, 4-3-1) by surprise by bunting down the third-base line for a base hit off the right-handed, hard-throwing Marrie.

"I wasn't thinking sacrifice," Forsyth said. "He's the best bunter in the county, and even if he fails to get a hit, we have a runner on second base."

A wild pitch moved Hoffner and Grap into scoring position. Marrie walked Zabel intentionally to load the bases. And Crow hit Marrie's first pitch into right field to win the game.

Dan Konapelsky went 4-for-5 for River Hill.

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