McDonogh routs Mt. St. Joe, 11-2

April 14, 1993|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Contributing Writer

When the McDonogh Eagles were selected No. 1 in The Baltimore Sun's preseason baseball poll, coach Al Poklemba ripped up the paper in front of his players.

"Now we don't worry about rankings anymore," says pitcher Kenny Cloude.

And yesterday, after dropping to No. 4 in the poll, the Eagles proved it.

Cloude pitched his best game of the season, going the distance while scattering six hits as McDonogh beat host and No. 5 Mount St. Joseph, 11-2, in a Maryland Scholastic Association Armstrong Conference A League game.

The Eagles took a 3-0 lead after an inning and scored at least a run in four of the next five to remove any doubt about the outcome.

For the defending MSA A Conference champions, who had lost two of their first three games, the win was important.

"We needed a good win," said Poklemba, whose team had dropped games to Riverdale Baptist and Loyola.

"I told them after losing to Loyola that now the pressure was off. We wouldn't be No. 1 anymore. Today was definitely a confidence builder."

For Cloude, The Baltimore Sun's 1992 Player of the Year, the win had even more significance. It marked the return of his control on the mound.

The senior struck out six and walked none, and for the first time this season was successful in spotting his pitches.

"Everything was working," said Cloude (1-2). "It was a matter of throwing the fastball in and out and keeping the curve down. I was able to keep them off balance. I've finally got my control back."

Facing a St. Joseph lineup coming off an all-day tournament Monday didn't hurt either.

The Gaels (3-1 in the league, 5-1 overall) won two games to capture their own holiday tournament, but tired themselves in the process. Starter Ben Daniels and the rest of the team looked flat from yesterday's first pitch.

"We were tired mentally," said Gaels coach Dave Norton. "It's tough to ask them to be out here all day yesterday and come back ready to play today. We just had a little mental breakdown."

McDonogh (2-1, 2-2) hit Daniels hard, scoring six earned runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings against the right-hander.

He helped the Eagles' cause with five wild pitches and poor control.

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