tampabay.com

Hillsborough rallies in eight

The Terriers overcome early miscues to take the district championship 5-4 over Brandon.

By JOHN CALKINS
Published May 7, 2005


TAMPA - After a shaky start, Hillsborough won the district title with an eight-inning 5-4 victory over Brandon on Friday at Middleton High.

In the bottom of the eighth, with one out, Mike Burgess lined a single to right that bounced over the head of Stephen Harris. Orlando Bacon, who led off the inning with a single, scored from first to give the Terriers the come-from-behind victory.

"We got down early, but the one thing our guys do is they don't quit," Hillsborough coach Pat Russo said.

After 31/2 innings, the Terriers (20-6) had committed five errors, managed only one hit and were down 3-0.

That all changed when they took the lead with four runs in the fourth inning, highlighted by a two-run double from Burgess, who finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs.

"It's high school baseball, guys are going to make mistakes," Russo said. "But if you get your team to believe they can't quit, then you have a good chance."

Brandon (15-11) tied it in the sixth when Ayron Burden drove in Robby Woodke with a double down the leftfield line. In their half of the sixth, the Terriers had the bases loaded with one out, then Chris Ramirez grounded into a double play that ended the threat and the inning.

Bacon, who allowed two earned runs and six hits in seven innings, also went 3-for-4 from the plate.

"He dominated," Russo said.

Hillsborough hosts the Sickles-Gaither loser in Tuesday's region quarterfinal.