The pitching arms of Brian Dunn and Brian Gick provided a much-needed transfusion for the Columbia Reds Monday.
And the Reds' bats exploded, pumping out 14 hits and pounding the Presstman Cardinals at Woodmoor Elementary School Monday in a Baltimore-Metro League senior division game, 12-2.
Dunn made his first start and threw five innings of three-hit ball, holding Presstman to two runs. He fanned eight and walked one.
Gick pitched the final two innings, allowing no hits, one walk and fanning four. He had previously pitched just 3 1/3 innings and Dunn only one inning.
"I was happy with the way Dunn threw, although he has thrown harder in the past. He complained of a sore neck, so I took him out after five," Reds coach Tom Showe said. Dunn, the team's starting shortstop, had played only seven previous games due to a combination of a sore back and vacation.
Dunn put the Reds in the win column for the eighth time in 15 Baltimore-Metro League games.
The offense featured five players who had multiple hits, including Brian Lopez, Austin Groves, Tait Arend, Chris Dodson and Dave Buckholtz.
Lopez, batting .440 before the game, had three infield singles in five plate appearances. He leads the team in RBI (12) and hits (25).
Groves, batting .366 before the game, went 2-for-4. He had five hits in a doubleheader against the Yankee Rebels Saturday that the Reds split. Those five hits included a three-run double in a 6-4 victory.
Arend was 3-for-3 with a walk and one RBI Monday. He had only two previous hits this season and was batting .182. But he is 2-1 as a pitcher with a 2.20 earned-run average.
Dodson went 2-for-4 with a RBI. And Buckholtz, batting .344, socked two two-run doubles in three at-bats.
Bill Ferguson had a RBI single and Billy Mills also singled once.
The Reds benefited from five walks and five Presstman errors.
Columbia scored one run in the second inning, five runs in the third and six in the seventh. Presstman scored single runs in the second and third innings.
"We needed this kind of a game to get us back on track," Showe said. "We're going to get things going again and finish among the top three teams in this league."
The top three finishers in the league are guaranteed post-season tournament berths.
The Reds lost to Liberty Road, one of the league's top teams, 7-3, on Sunday. Kevin Nickey went 2-for-3 with two RBI in that game. And Mills hit a RBI double. Arend was the losing pitcher.
In the Saturday doubleheader split with the league-leading Yankee Rebels, the Reds won 6-4 be
hind pitcher Andy Young, thanks to a five-run sixth-inning rally. The 12-7 loss in the second game was due to seven errors.
In a 34-game season not quite at the halfway point, the Reds have a key game with the Bedouins, another of the league's top teams, at 6 p.m. Thursday at Hammond High.
Starting second baseman Brian Van Deusen is expected back for that game after missing a week playing for Team Maryland in Oklahoma.