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Fitzgerald, Eagles steal win

THE OUTLOOK: PARKER LEE - Centennial starter A.J. Hergert delivers a pitch during the Eagles dramatic 1-0 win over Barlow to start league play Tuesday.

Mount Hood Conference

Team Score

Runs were beyond elusive when Barlow and Centennial met up for the Mt. Hood Conference opener on Tuesday. The holy grail of home plate was so near-impossible to attain that Eagle right fielder Devin Fitzgerald finally had to just steal it.

With one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, Fitzgerald stole home to lift the Eagles to a thrilling 1-0 walk-off win.

Fitzgerald managed to make his way around the bases without the ball ever leaving the infield. The steal of home was in reality a suicide-squeeze attempt gone awry.

Fitzgerald was almost half-way down the line when Barlow pitcher Matthew Ellis started his windup. Ellis sped up his delivery and fired in the pitch-out. Catcher Michael Smith lunged out to catch it, then dove back to put down the tag. Smith’s mitt blocked the third-base side of the plate, and it was there in time. Fitzgerald’s right foot hooked around the glove, avoiding contact by mere centimeters, and grazed the right side of the plate.

“I still don’t know how I scored,” Fitzgerald said. “He put the glove down and I either went above it or around it, I don’t know. It is still a blur. Whatever I did, I guess it’s lucky I did it.”

Look for expanded coverage in our Friday, April 8, print edition.