UNIONTOWN — The Francis Scott Key baseball team improved to 5-0 on the season with a 16-6 win over Catoctin in a game that ended after six innings because of the 10-run rule yesterday afternoon.
The Eagles pounded 14 hits off three Catoctin pitchers while Key pitcher John Engel went the distance, allowing four earned runs on seven hits to improve his record to 2-0.
For the second straight day, the Eagles jumped out to a 5-0 lead after one inning.
Monday, Key had to hold on to beat North Hagerstown, 5-3.
Yesterday, they added four more in the second to go up, 9-0, against Catoctin (0-5) and didn't look back.
"It (getting a big lead early) really pumps us up," Key coach Bob Caples said. "We need to continue our intensity, I thought the kids did a pretty good job of that overall."
While Catoctin went down 1-2-3 in the top of the first, the Eagles sent 10 batters to the plate in their half of the inning.
Dave Layman got things started with a single up the middle. Murray Valentine followed with a walk and Brandon Brilhart reached first on an error -- all three would come in to score.
Engel andDave Ruskey had RBI singles before Jimmy Feister's line-drive doubledown the third-base line brought home two runs to give the Eagles a 5-0 lead.
Key was at it again in the second, taking advantage of acostly error by Catoctin pitcher Brian Pryor. With one out and two on, Engel hit a come-backer to the mound that Pryor fielded, but threwhigh to second. By the time Catoctin was done throwing the ball around, two runs scored and Engel was on second.
Ruskey followed with a towering triple to the right-center field gap to score Engel, and then scored himself on a single by Feister to push the lead to 9-0.
"We needed a day like this to get everybody hitting the ball hard," Caples said.
After each team scored a run in the third to make it 10-1, Catoctin fought back a bit with two runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth to cut the lead to 10-6.
It could have been closer with a Catoctin runner on third and one out in that fifth, but Engel got a groundout and then a strikeout to end the inning.
"Engel fought back from a little adversity and did a pretty good job on the mound," Caples said.
"He didn't have his best stuff out there today but still got the win -- that's a sign of a good pitcher," the coach said.
Engel finished with two strikeouts, and the Key defense committed only two errors.
"We had our moments with some errors, but for the most part the defense did an excellent job keeping us in good shape," Caples said.
"With good pitching and defense, if you can score a few runs you can win a few ball games."
The Key offenseanswered with four in the bottom of the fifth -- capped by a two-rundouble by Eric Bohn -- and finished it up with two more in the sixth.
Ruskey led the way for the Eagles with a pair of triples and a double for three RBI and two runs scored.
Bohn had three hits and four RBI, while Feister finished with two hits and three RBI.
Brilhart contributed two hits and scored four times, while Layman had a couple of hits and three runs scored.
The 5-0 start is by far the best for the fourth-year coach and his Eagles. A year ago they finishedthe season 2-16.
"The kids really believe in each other and support one another," he said.
"Everything is very positive and the kids are pumped up."