By the bottom of the seventh inning yesterday, Anne Arundel Community College pitcher Jim Durick could only watch and wait. His work wasdone.
The 19-year-old freshman fanned six batters and gave up four hits and no walks, then watched from the Pioneers' dugout as his teammates tried to add to the 2-0 lead they had when he left the game.
His vigilance was rewarded.
The Pioneers (5-2) went on to produce a 10-0 rout of Catonsville Community College (4-3).
"I just wanted to go out there, do the basics and get my first win," said Durick, who raised his record to 1-1. "I just tried to keep them off balance, but I have to give a lot of credit to our infielders for playingthem so tight and to my catcher, who was mixing up the pitches really well."
It didn't look good for Durick for a moment in the top ofthe sixth, with his squad up only 2-0. He battled back to a full count from a 3-0 deficit against Catonsville's Ray Aschenbach, only to watch Aschenbach reach base on an error.
But, later, with a runner on first and third, Durick's defense pulled him through.
Shortstop Andy Srebroski (Northeast) snagged a line drive and left Catonsville's Dave Adams stranded on third base. Srebroski(3-for-5 at the plate)finished the game with four putouts, a steal and a run scored.
Durick's Catonsville counterpart, ace Pat Smith, had been pitching well. But after seven innings, the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder had thrown more than 150 pitches and his fastball had slowed to the point that Anne Arundel batters were connecting for fouls, landing solid line drives or shots to the outfield.
Smith had five strikeouts, buthe also gave up six hits and as many walks, including four which loaded the bases in the first inning and then scored the Pioneers' Frank Billingsfor a 1-0 lead.
The game remained close until the bottom of the fifth, when Cardinal right fielder Brian Kelbaugh dropped Jay Schline's routine fly. Jim McNally, facing a full count, then nailed a liner past third base. When Schline scored, the Pioneers led, 2-0, and the Anne Arundel dugout breathed a collective sigh of relief.
"I got the suicide squeeze, and I was surprised, but that's a great situationto be in," said McNally, who went 2-for-5. "I just felt like I couldn't lose."
Mike Kirkpatrick was 0-for-3 at the plate until his fifth-inning RBI double gave the Pioneers a 3-0 lead. He also had an eighth-inning RBI single that put the Pioneers ahead, 5-0.
"We knew we were going to be facing their best pitcher, but we knew it was going to be a pitching duel all the way," said Anne Arundel coach Clayton Jacobson.
"We figured he couldn't go the distance and, if he did,he'd have been crippled the way he was going."
Catonsville coach Frank Klebe, said, "He got himself into a couple of jams, but I thought he did a helluva job."
In the bottom of the eighth, the Pioneers capitalized on three errors, two hits, a balk and four walks by Catonsville reliever Tom McCormick to score seven runs.
Pat Kahl scored on Scott McClelland's sacrifice bunt, to make it 4-0, before Kirkpatrick got his second hit. Billings scored again to make it, 6-0,when Catonsville's Rob Belluomo dropped a McNally liner and the routwas on.
"The way our outfield was playing, they really only needed one run to beat us today," said Klebe. "We couldn't seem to catch the ball."
It didn't help that Anne Arundel's Rick Forney stepped onto the mound in the top of the eighth and promptly whiffed Catonsville's Dave Adams -- the Cardinals' best batter on the day at 2-for-3. Forney closed with three strikes and allowed just one hit in the ninth.