Bowie standout Adam Donahue rested his left arm for seven days before pitching a no-hitter last Friday to vault the Bulldogs into a Maryland 4A baseball semifinal tonight at Prince George's Stadium.
Bowie's opponent, Thomas Stone, did not have the same luxury. Emerging from what most coaches consider the most difficult region in the state -- the 4A East -- the Cougars had to play a first-round game and then work their way through powerhouses Arundel, Old Mill and Chesapeake (13 combined state titles).
Thomas Stone Coach Ed Glaeser, however, does not put much credence into the notion that his team, after its stunning run, is a favorite and points to his team's recent success to explain why.
"It's a one-game thing," Glaeser said.
"I think we have proven that when you do a one-game thing, anybody can win. I think we're a pretty good example that it doesn't mean much. If we played four out of seven, or something like that, then I don't know. But in a one-game thing, anything can happen. The game of baseball is strange. It's not like football."
Unlike the Anne Arundel teams it defeated, Thomas Stone (16-8) does not have a star player.
Relief pitcher Jon Kale might have been the team's most valuable player in the regional tournament, pitching in every game and throwing 11 shutout innings.
Greg Rhoades (4-2) is expected to start today's game, Glaeser said. Designated hitter Averill Butler had game-winning hits in extra innings against Arundel and Chesapeake, and center fielder Brian Garner hit a key three-run home run against Old Mill.
"Everybody is contributing in their own way and that's what you have to do," Glaeser said. "We don't have impact players. We just have players who do that and this."
Bowie (23-1) has scored a state-record 313 runs this season, and the Bulldogs are led by Donahue and catcher-pitcher Bryan Trotter, who is expected to pitch tonight. Donahue is 7-0 with a 1.43 ERA as a pitcher and is batting .468. Trotter (.554) and Jeff Casey (.500) have also been pivotal to Bowie's prolific offense.
The Bulldogs' only loss this season came to Southern, but Coach Bill Seibert disagreed with the notion that his team has thrived against weak opposition.
"I wouldn't want to be the one to walk over to [Eleanor Roosevelt Coach] Andy Capece and say they're not very good and I wouldn't want to be the one to walk over to Parkdale and say they're not very good," Seibert said.
"Look at the Parkdale game [a 5-4, eight-inning victory for the Bulldogs]. Heck, it was extra innings and they went ahead of us in the eighth inning. Those guys came to play. It wasn't a walk in the park."