Good Counsel's Bidwick launches a surprising home run binge

By Josh Barr and Katie Carrera
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

After starting the season in a hitting slump, Carter Bidwick suddenly began hitting home runs. And his Good Counsel teammates were quick to tease: After all, how many players batting eighth in the order club home runs in five consecutive games?

"Carter gave up hitting for Lent," was the popular refrain, with everyone aware that Bidwick's home run bonanza started just after Easter.

Bidwick's home run spree caught the attention of Coach John McGowan. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound junior -- a third-year starter more known for getting on base -- had hit just two homers in his career before things got going in an 18-2 victory over Seton (Va.) on April 6.

The next day, Bidwick homered twice as the third-ranked Falcons split a doubleheader with Mercersburg (Pa.). Another long ball followed in an 18-7 victory over Loyola Blakefield, and he hit a two-run shot in an 8-6 victory over Gonzaga on April 12. He did not homer in a 2-1 victory over McNamara, but followed with his sixth in seven games, a three-run blast that lifted Good Counsel to a 5-3 victory over DeMatha last Thursday.

"I don't know where that's done very often in our area," said McGowan, whose team plays at No. 5 Paul VI Catholic on Tuesday. "That's a pretty special thing. Kids may drop two homers in a game, but to go through that many games [with a home run] is pretty special."

Raiders stick together

Atholton (7-0), which has six starters who played key roles on the 2008 team that reached the Maryland 3A softball final, has a plucky chemistry that may be the main source of its position as the only undefeated team remaining in Howard County.

"Their strength really is their confidence in themselves," Coach Maureen Shacreaw said. "Each one of them knows that the players around them are solid. If one struggles, the others pick them up. I don't think there's ever any panic."

Heading into a Tuesday showdown with Howard (6-1), the Raiders have given up just nine runs and have shut out three opponents.

Shortstop Erica Makar and pitcher Haylie Goheen lead the team with batting averages of .524 and .478, respectively, and 10 RBI apiece. They, along with second baseman Melanie Slayton and center fielder Stephanie McGowan, create a core of juniors that has fueled the Raiders since they were freshmen who embarked on that run to the state final.

Hvozdovic there in spirit

Herndon (7-2) received inspiration from an absent player Friday night in its 8-7 come-from-behind win over Centreville.

The Hornets' top pitcher, senior Paul Hvozdovic, was injured on Tuesday against Oakton when he was running out a bunt and collided with the Cougars' first baseman. Hvozdovic scored on a triple moments later and tried throwing a warmup pitch in the top of the next inning but was in obvious pain.

He was admitted to Reston Hospital Center later that night and has remained there with a collapsed lung. Coach Greg Miller said Hvozdovic will undergo surgery Tuesday and is out for the rest of the season. Hvozdovic had struck out 30 batters in 22 innings this season, with one walk.

"Moreso than his talent, we miss his competitiveness out there," Miller said. Staff writer Preston Williams contributed to this report.

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