Southern-B weathers losing opener

March 23, 1994|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Staff Writer

Inclement weather and the success of Southern-Baltimore's state champion basketball team handicapped the Bulldogs' baseball team entering yesterday's non-league season opener at No. 6 Mount St. Joseph.

"We couldn't practice in the gym, and we couldn't play on the fields," Southern coach Bill Parker said. "We haven't faced any live pitching -- only a pitching machine."

The Bulldogs (0-1) faced a live pitching machine in the Gaels' Steve Matcuk, who struck out 11 and walked three in a 6-0, no-hit season-opening victory for the defending private-school state champs.

Matcuk, a second-team All-Metro pick, faced 24 batters -- three over the minimum -- and allowed four runners on base.

The farthest a runner got was to second base before being tagged, and when Ken Tolodziecki flied out to center in the sixth, it was the only time a Mount St. Joseph outfielder handled the ball.

Matcuk confessed to early jitters with the presence of Orioles' scout Gary Kendall, who clocked Matcuk's two fastest pitches at 85 mph.

"I'd had some control problems with the cold weather, but today was nicer, which helped things to go better than I expected," said Matcuk, who scored twice.

"I worked mostly the fastball and got a little changeup going."

The Gaels' offense got going behind its two Ryans -- McGonigal and Kenealy.

Kenealy (two doubles, two RBIs) went 2-for-3 with a walk, and McGonigal (one double, two RBIs) went 2-for-2 with a walk against Southern's All-City hurler James Benton (110 pitches).

"He was pretty good, but we'll face a lot better when we play [No. 5] McDonogh or [No. 1] Calvert Hall," said McGonigal, who made it, 1-0, on a second-inning double that scored Kenealy, and made it, 6-0, with a sixth-inning single that scored Matcuk.

In the third inning, the Gaels began to rattle Benton, who last season went 5-1 with 46 strikeouts but finished yesterday's game with four strikeouts and yielded seven each in hits and walks.

It was 3-0 after Kenealy's double scored both Dan Rosewag, who reached base on a walk, and Matcuk, who reached base on a double.

In his half of the third inning, Benton threw 39 pitches and gave up four walks, one of which scored. He also loaded the bases before striking out the final batter.

"His fastball was kind of flat, but it's the best we've seen all year," said Kenealy, referring to scrimmages against Glen Burnie, South Carroll and Dulaney.

"We knew it was a matter of time before we took advantage."

Kenny Kravitz and Everett Cooper scored on two of Southern's three fourth-inning errors, and Benton -- who last year hit .474 with 28 RBIs and 28 runs scored -- went 0-for-3, striking out twice.

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