Forest Hill played the kind of exciting baseball local fans like to hear about as it became the 1994 13-14 Harford County Baseball Tournament Champions.
The Harford County Rec Program's double-elimination, county-wide tournament began July 5, and Forest Hill won its first two games big, then lost, rallied out of the loser's bracket with three wins (extra innings against Churchville to advance to the finals), then beat previously undefeated Aberdeen twice to win the championship. The team played eight games in nine days.
All of the Forest Hill players contributed, but center fielder Charlie Little (12-25), shortstop James Groh (12-25) and catcher Darren Grzyb (12-28) were the offensive leaders during the tourney.
Forest Hill defeated Emmorton, 11-1, and Edgewood, 9-2, before losing to Aberdeen, 7-4. Pitchers J.D. Bonsell and Nick Albrecht picked up the wins.
In the loser's bracket, the team beat Jarrettsville, 6-3. Jeff Applin pitched a complete-game five-hitter and struck out eight. Little, Grzyb, Albrecht, John Rudolph, Groh, Joe Troilo, Andy Haynes, Chris Stromberg and designated hitter Zack Petrone collected hits.
Then, Rudolph pitched a complete game to defeat Edgewood again, 9-6. He struck out 12 in the effort.
In the tournament's most exciting game, Forest Hill turned back Churchville, 7-6, in extra innings.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, behind by a run, Little had a lead-off single, stole second and moved to third on a single by Grzyb. A sacrifice fly by Albrecht drove in Little with the tying run, and a single by Rudolph scored Grzyb for the winning run.
In the last inning, outfielder Ryan MacNeill and Stromberg nailed Churchville runners at home plate to secure the win. Rick Amoroso, who came on in relief of Albrecht, picked up the win.
In the final two games, Aberdeen fell to the red-hot Forest Hill team, which won the first game, 17-4, to force a final game, winner take all.
In that game, Forest Hill scored nine runs in the first
two innings and held off a rallying Aberdeen, 9-5. Rudolph picked up another victory with a six-hit, complete game performance.
Championship team members include Nick Albrecht, Rick Amoroso, Jeff Applin, J.D. Bonsell, Steve Dickerson, James Groh, Darren Grzyb, Andy Haynes, Charlie Little, Ryan MacNeill, Zack Petrone, John Rudolph, Chris Stromberg and Joe Troilo. The team is managed by Pete Troilo and Charlie Little and assistants Bob Rudolph, Keith Applin and Bill Morse.
The 13-14 Harford Sox became champions of the Eastern Division, clinching the top spot with a 12-3 win over the Dayton Raiders.
The Sox scored three runs in the first inning and kept on hitting, recording 17. Danny Green went the distance on the mound for the win, and was 4-5 at the plate with two doubles and two triples.
Brad Glascock was 2-4, and teammates Chad Blevins, Eric Shank, Josh Mawhinney, Chris Reynolds, Adam Rafalski, Joey Criss, Paul Isbell, Matt Blethen, Jeff Greggs, Bobby Winter and Ricky Black each had hits.
The team now advances to the Dizzy Dean State Tournament, scheduled to be held this weekend at the Forest Hill complex.
Track and field
Sending talented athletes to all-star competitions is nothing new for the Harford County Gliders track program, and this year it has produced nine competitors that have advanced to the National AAU Junior Olympics, to be held Aug. 2-5 in Cocoa Beach, Fla.
There were 37 Gliders to compete against more than 1,000 athletes in the AAU Regionals in Gaithersburg. The top three finishers in each event were eligible to move on to the Nationals.
Amy Tolcin, 12, of Bel Air, led the Gliders with a gold medal in the discus throw with a toss of 62-10. This will be her second trip to the nationals in three years.
Alex Clark, 10, of Edgewood, placed second in the shot put (22-11), Kevin Smith, 15, from Edgewood, earned second in the high jump with 5-10, and Jill Iacchei, 11, of Bel Air, placed third in the 1500-meter racewalk in 9 minutes, 14 seconds, to advance.
In relay competition, the 11-12 girls 4x800 team of Heather McHugh (Bel Air), Jennifer Schuerholz (Baldwin), Jessica Johnson (Edgewood) and Bethany Hulbert (Joppatowne) advanced with a time of 11:14.0.
Monica Grigora, 16, of Abingdon, won bronze in the high jump (5-0) to advance to the nationals. She also finished fourth in the long jump, triple jump and the heptathlon.
Other top Glider finishes:
Todd Hulbert, Josh Zader, Daniel Watts, Mike Pacifico (finished in fourth place, boys 11-12 4x800 relay); Hulbert, age 17 (fourth-place finisher in the high jump); Kristin Hulbert, 15 (was fifth in the 800, seventh in the 400); Eric Benjamin, 16 (finished fifth in the 800). Becky Bystry, 16 (finished sixth in both the triple jump and long jump); and Pete Chamberlin, 16, (placed fifth in the 110 high hurdles).
Katy Novotny of the Rock Spring Racers broke two Harford County Swim League records and tied one as the team defeated Joppatowne, 241-214.
She broke the girls 13-14 100 individual medley (1:09.69), the 50 back (32.16) and tied the 50 breaststroke with 36.72.
Other team members with multiple victories for Rock Spring girls swimmers include Christine Betzing, girls 11-12 gold medalist in the 100 IM, 50 free and 50 fly; Lauren Betzing, girls 9-10 winner in the 100 IM, 50 fly and 50 free; and Cathy Gyolai, who won the girls 13-14 50 free and 50 fly.
In boys competition, Matt Weigl was the boys 9-10 champion in the 50 free, 25 breast and 25 fly. Teammate T.J. Apicella was tops in the boys 15-18 100 IM, 50 breast and 50 butterfly.
To report recreation scores and results send detailed info to: Sports, Harford County, Baltimore Sun, 15 Churchville Rd, Suite 112, Bel Air, Md, 21014. Deadline is noon Thursday. Fax # 893-3252.