Zoretich's walk-off blast lifts Gaels

May 09, 2006|by By JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

St. Maria Goretti sophomore Alex Zoretich got the pitch he wanted from Smithsburg's Kevin Kocsis and slugged a walk-off home run to center leading off the bottom of the eighth inning, giving the Gaels' baseball team a thrilling 2-1 win over the Leopards on Monday.

"I was looking for a fastball and he gave me one right down the middle of the plate," Zoretich said. "It felt good coming off of the bat. I am just happy that we won. It is a really awesome feeling."

Zoretich went 3-for-4 for the Gaels.

"Alex's home run was well struck," Goretti coach Mike Brashears said. "He got the bigger part of the bat on the ball and he was able to drive it out of the park. It was a great high school baseball game."

Goretti (8-12) scored a run in the seventh to make it a 1-1 tie against Smithsburg (4-16) and send the game into extra innings. With one out, Kevin Brashears tripled to right. One out later, Ryan Wilson singled to left to drive in Brashears.


Freshman J.J. O'Neill allowed an unearned run in the first inning and then settled down to hurl a four-hitter to get the win for Goretti.

"I couldn't have won it without J.J. pitching a great game," Zoretich said. "We have a lot young players. We have been getting better and we have been making a lot less errors lately."

O'Neill retired 12 of the last 15 batters he faced.

"J.J. has been pitching well for us all year," Mike Brashears said. "Unfortunately, he gets behind against the hitters and his pitch count goes up. Kevin Kocsis also pitched a good game for Smithsburg. We had trouble hitting his curveball."

Kocsis struck out 11 for the Leopards.

"It was a good baseball game," Smithsburg coach Bill Fowkes said. "That was a classic pitchers' duel. They just hit the ball in a key situation when they needed to and we didn't."

The Leopards scored their only run in the first. With one out, Kevin Tyler reached on an infield error and stole second. One out later, Josh Humelsine doubled to center to knock in Tyler.

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