The Herndons of the world haven't helped baseball at Marshall High School of Falls Church.

First, Herndon High School gave Marshall its only regular season loss. Last night, a right-hander named Chris Herndon and his Mills Godwin High School teammates from Richmond did what no one had been able to do in two seasons: beat left-hander Pete Schourek.

Herndon came on in relief, held Marshall hitless for six innings and won his own game when he tripled home the go-ahead run in the eighth inning as the Eagles pulled out a dramatic 4-2 victory in the Virginia AAA state championship game last night at Fairfax.

Herndon's effort -- he walked five and struck out 11 -- gave him a 12-0 record this season and allowed the Eagles, competing in AAA for the first time, to finish unbeaten at 24-0.

"He was their best pitcher and we knew if the other guy {Chris Snyder} ran into trouble, he would be coming in," said Marshall Coach Dean Sissler, whose team lost in the state final for a second straight season and finished 21-2. "He just took us to the cleaners. I heard he wasn't a strikeout pitcher but we didn't touch the ball."

Herndon said he felt he would be needed and was ready.

"I stayed with my fastball and curve," he said, "and everything went right."

Herndon, not noted for his bat, had three of his team's five hits, including the two-out, two-strike triple to right center that scored Rob Grimes from third base to put the Eagles up, 3-2. Grimes opened the inning with a walk off Schourek, reached second on a pickoff attempt and stole third.

Schourek, who had won 24 straight over two seasons, 13 this spring, bore down to record his 14th and 15th strikeouts before facing Herndon. Sissler said he considered walking Herndon, who had two solid singles and a strikeout, but decided against it after visiting Schourek.

"Pete said he wanted to pitch to him and he brought us here," Sissler said.

Herndon got all of the pitch and sent it to the deepest part of the field.

"I don't know what he threw me but I hit it well," Herndon said. "I expected a fastball because that was his bread-and-butter pitch. I was actually surprised they didn't walk me."

Mills Godwin got an insurance run on an error.

Marshall's two hits were back-to-back doubles off Snyder in the second inning. After a walk to Schourek -- he walked four times -- Robbie Felts doubled and Jim Bernhardt brought home both with his double.

Herndon relieved and Marshall wouldn't get another hit. The Statesmen had a big scoring opportunity in the third when Herndon walked three batters with one out. But Felts and Bernhardt struck out.

"That was the turning point of the game," Sissler said. "We have the bases loaded and the next two guys watch called third strikes."

Schourek was breezing along until the fifth. A single and fielder's choice put runners at the corners with none out. The next batter struck out but Schourek walked Danny Bird, ninth in the order. Grimes popped out but Les Jennette doubled to tie the game at 2-2.

The score remained tied until Herndon's hit.