On a hot muggy day when Southern ace righthander Jerry Fischer at first appeared beatable, the senior used his own bat to help defeat Gilman, 9-4.
Yesterday's victory at Carroll Park gave Southern a one-game lead in the best-of-three MSA B Conference championship series.
Fischer's two-run blast to deep left broke a 2-2 tie in the third inning and brought life to his curveball. He struck out 11, including five of six in the third and fourth innings. In all, six of his strikeouts came on called third strikes.
The effort raised his season total to 129 strikeouts in 69 innings. He has walked 17.
Bubba really had a sharp curve working," said Bulldogs catcher Gerry Gastiger, whom coach Bill Parker picked to pitch Game 2 today at Gilman. The third game, if necessary, will be played Monday (3:45) at a neutral site yet to be determined.
Gastiger contributed a pair of run-scoring singles and shortstop Danny Fyffe added a triple and a run-scoring single in the 11-hit attack.
"We suddenly started hitting the ball all over the place in the sixth inning [of the semifinals] against Patterson," said Parker. "I hope we can keep it up."
rTC Gilman got a solo home run from Terry Tabbs, a run-scoring single from Tim Elliott and Keith Kormanik had a single, walked twice, scored two runs and stole three bases. Beyond that, the Greyhounds had little to cheer about.
"I'm worried about Game 2," said Gilman coach Marty Meloy. "This is exam time for my players and it's very difficult for them to stay focused when they have a big exam the next day."