In his first start, Perry Hall's Ash stops Dundalk, 5-3

April 13, 1994|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special to The Sun

Next on Perry Hall pitcher Brian Ash's agenda -- what to do for an encore.

Ash, making his first varsity start, carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning before finishing with a five-hitter as No. 10 Perry Hall defeated host and No. 12 Dundalk, 5-3, in a Baltimore County Class 3A-4A game yesterday.

The left-hander breezed through the early innings, needing only 35 pitches to keep Dundalk (3-1, 3-1) hitless through five.

Ash needed just eight pitches to set down the first six Dundalk batters -- using the minimum three pitches in the second inning.

Ash kept changing speeds on his fastball and mixed in his curve and change-up to keep Dundalk off balance. Several times, he froze Dundalk batters by dropping down with a sidearm curve.

"I know my fastball is not going to blow people away at this level," said Ash, who threw 72 pitches. "If I can keep them off balance, I've got them where I want them."

Ash said he needs to get his first pitch over to be successful, and that's what he did. Dundalk batters made an out on the first pitch nine times.

"They were doing a lot of first-ball swinging," said Perry Hall coach Larry Butts. "That helped [Ash]. He did a nice job pitching."

Dundalk did not have a runner until the fourth inning. The Owls got their first hit in the sixth when Luke Bell bunted for a single, pTC but Perry Hall (3-1, 3-1) was up 5-0 by that point.

Perry Hall had its own troubles at the plate. Dundalk pitcher Eric Cuppett also had an outstanding day, striking out 11 and limiting the Gators to five hits.

Walks and errors proved to be Cuppett's downfall, however. The Gators took advantage of two walks for two runs in the second inning and capitalized on three errors for three more in the sixth and a 5-0 lead.

After Perry Hall loaded the bases in the second with one out, Paul Kansler walked and Mandell Marsh reached on an infield single for a 2-0 lead. The errors and a Brandon Zimmerman RBI single made it 5-0.

After Bell broke up the no-hitter in the sixth, Dundalk came to life. Cuppett brought in Bell with a sacrifice fly later that inning to make it 5-1.

The Owls turned up the heat in the seventh. John Blalock had an RBI single, and the Owls scored another on the same play when the relay got loose in the infield.

That made it 5-3 and gave the Owls second and third with one out. But Ash finished the job when he got Bell to pop to first and, after intentionally walking Bobby Hurley, made Travis Thornton (.521 average last year) end the game with a force out.

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