Glenelg rallied from a five-run deficit to defeat Catoctin of Frederick County in the Class 1A South region championship game yesterday at Glenelg, 8-7.
VTC Mike Rice's two-run, two-out single was the game-winning hit in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Fourth-ranked Glenelg (20-2), shooting for its fourth state title and first since 1995, will play in the state semifinals Tuesday at 4 p.m. at McCurdy Field in Frederick against Havre de Grace.
Several Glenelg players made crucial contributions, but leadoff batter Brandon Robertson was most responsible for Glenelg's seventh regional title.
Robertson reached base in three of four appearances and had two hits and one RBI. His leadoff single in the sixth inning started the winning rally.
Most important, however, was his pitching. He threw 3 2/3 innings in relief of Glenelg starter Dave Harris, and allowed just two hits and no runs against a powerful Catoctin lineup that included John West, who has set a new state record with a .688 batting average. West homered in three official at-bats and his strikeout in the first inning was only his second this season.
Catoctin (13-7) scored five runs in the third inning, when the Cougars forced Glenelg coach Tom Thrasher to bring in Robertson to pitch. The Cougars led 7-2 before the inning ended. All of the runs were charged to Harris.
"It had been two or three weeks since I pitched, but my curve was there and my fastball had some movement," said Robertson, a junior left-hander who normally plays center field. "It's hard to get us down. We've come back before."
Thrasher brought in Jeff Starcher to finish the game, after Roberston walked the leadoff batter in the seventh inning.
"I had run the bases in the bottom of the sixth, and my arm was getting tired, so it was a good move," Robertson said.
Starcher gave up a one-out single to increase the tension, but retired the final two batters on a groundout and a strikeout.
County champion Glenelg scored four runs in the fourth inning to cut Catoctin's lead to 7-6. A controversy erupted over a ball hit by Jon Hughes to right field that cleared the fence and appeared to be a home run. But the umpires ruled it a double, saying that it hit the flexible fence before going over.
The next batter, Jeremy Shry, who also walked twice, reached on Catoctin's only error. Glenelg took advantage of that mistake because Jason Weszka then hit a three-run home run, his seventh home run.
Glenelg scored a fourth run that inning when Robertson was hit by a pitch, Starcher singled and Harris hit an RBI single. Harris reached base three times and scored the winning run in the sixth inning after walking.
Pub Date: 5/17/98