Bryan Trotter had given the Bowie baseball team a one-run lead over Eleanor Roosevelt in the Maryland 4A South Region final last Friday. With a bases-loaded double in the fourth, however, Trotter essentially gave the Bulldogs something much more dear: a berth in the state semifinals.

Trotter drove a pitch down the left field line, giving Bowie a commanding 4-0 lead in what eventually was a 7-0 victory.

"When I hit it, it felt good off the bat, and when I saw it go fair, I knew that put us up by four," said Trotter (2 for 3, five RBI). "I was really excited after that."

The Bulldogs (23-1) were scheduled to play Thomas Stone in a Maryland 4A semifinal on Tuesday; that game ended too late to be included in this edition.

Trotter's offensive exploits -- an RBI single in the third and a sacrifice fly in the sixth -- and Adam Donahue's work on the mound Friday helped Bowie ease painful memories of the way the past two seasons ended.

The Bulldogs were playing in their third-straight region final. In 2002, Bowie was the higher seed but lost to High Point. A year ago, the Bulldogs had a 3-1 lead heading into the final inning, only to see Roosevelt tie the game at 3 and claim victory on a ninth-inning home run.

"This year the seniors got together, and we wanted to go out there and not lose it on something stupid," Trotter said.

Donahue, a left-hander, made sure of that. He didn't allow a single hit in the game, and the only runners to reach base were courtesy of a hit batsman and an error. He also struck out 11.

"Adam's been throwing the ball well all year," Trotter said of his battery mate. "It's a lot easier [to take control of a game] when he's throwing the ball like that, that's for sure."

Trotter said he is looking forward to playing baseball in college but is undecided as to where. He mentioned Towson and perhaps a junior college, but added that at this juncture he's still "looking around."

Bill Seibert, who has coached the Bulldogs since 1978, credited his squad for its determined effort to improve in the offseason.

"These guys had a mission," Seibert said. "They got into camps and clinics over the summer to accomplish one goal. Like I say to them: 'The horse did all the work, but Paul Revere got all the credit.' I'm gonna get the credit, but they're the ones that did it."