Andy Hacker would not be denied. If he couldn't save the game on the mound, he was going to do it in the field.
Hacker threw out pinch-runner Pete Hershock at the plate with two outs in the top of the seventh inning from rightfield to preserve Tampa Bay Tech's 7-6 win over Plant.
Hacker started the inning on the mound to try and save the game for Stephen Williams but gave up a home run to J.
B. Roman. Hacker had retired the first two batters before the homer, but he walked the next two and was pulled.
Joey Ricciardi came on to face Steve Thomas. He ran the count full before Thomas lined a one-hop single to right that looked as if it would tie the game. But Hacker had other thoughts.
"I looked up and was surprised to see that (Hershock) wasn't close to the plate," Hacker said. "So I just came up and threw. I was going home all the way and I told myself I was going to gun him."
Hacker's heroics not only salvaged Williams performance, but his hitting showcase as well. Williams, who entered the game as the county's leading hitter, belted two home runs and drove in four. The big blow came in the third, a three-run shot that chased Plant starter Kenny Anderson (1-2).
"I just come out and try to do whatever I have to do to execute and help the team win," Williams said. "As long as we win each inning, then that is what matters."
"We won't ever give up," Plant coach Pat Russo said. "We just have to minimize our mistakes. All those little things add up in a game. Plant should not put themselves in that situation."