Brashears lives Cooperstown dream

May 14, 2004|by DAN KAUFFMAN

It was a trip St. Maria Goretti baseball coach Mike Brashears wanted to take for years, and it lived up to all of his expectations.

Brashears led the Gaels to Cooperstown, N.Y., last weekend for a game at Doubleday Field, in the shadows of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

"It was a wonderful experience," Brashears said. "Selfishly for me, growing up playing baseball, this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

The magnitude of playing in a historic location like Cooperstown was not lost on any of the Gaels.

"We arrived a day early and the field happened to be open, and we walked around saying, 'This is where we're playing tomorrow,'" Brashears said.


The opponent - Martinsburg - was a familiar one for Goretti. In two previous games against the Bulldogs, the Gaels had been outscored 19-0, including a 12-0 shellacking at Municipal Stadium just two days before.

However, Goretti had Martinsburg's number Saturday, as Kevin Brashears homered - much to the delight of his coach and father - to jump-start a 5-1 victory.

"Kevin's first at-bat, he hits a home run, and from a parenting standpoint, it's like, 'Wow,'" Mike Brashears said. "We pitched well, put the ball in play and played a nice game. It was a far cry from the previous game."

Devils getting their due

For a team led by a junior, a sophomore and two freshmen, Greencastle's softball squad sure has grown up in a hurry.

The No. 4 Blue Devils (13-5) scored an eight-inning, 4-3 victory over No. 1 Chambersburg on Wednesday, handing the Trojans their second loss this season.

"It was a huge victory for us, especially getting ready for the playoffs," Greencastle coach James Richardson said. "I feel we're talented and young, and this was a tremendous confidence builder going into districts."

Greencastle's leading hitter, Kris Root, is a sophomore but is posting numbers usually reserved for a senior. Her nine home runs are tied for the area lead and her .549 average ranks near the top.

Junior Jessica Ritchey (.459, six doubles, four homers) and freshmen Sarah Signore (.450, five doubles) and Brittany Main (.429) join Root at the heart of the Blue Devils' potent lineup, while Signore has filled the pitching duties admirably, going 8-5 with a 1.74 ERA.

"I knew this group was young but had a lot of potential," Richardson said. "They just got better as the season's gone on. ... Those three or four players have played above and beyond expectations."

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