Lutheran shuts out Friends for title, 5-0

May 28, 1994|By Mark Strausberg | Mark Strausberg,Contributing Writer

The first pitch to the first batter of the first inning was a strike. It would be one of many for Lutheran pitcher Joel Davis.

Davis struck out 11 and walked one as he dominated Friends in a 5-0 complete-game victory in the third and final game of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference /^ Championship series yesterday.

"Joel Davis deserves all the credit for his team," said Friends coach Tom Randall. "He kept them in all the way. He did great. He was fantastic."

Davis, who allowed four hits, started the game by striking out Carter Adkinson. Davis then quickly finished off the next two batters, including another strikeout.

Lutheran (12-6) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on Shane Downes' RBI-double off of Jon Yeager. Jeff Drayer, who had reached on a single and stole second, scored on Downes' double.

Friends (10-8) got its first hit in the second when Jamie Johnston hit a line drive to left field for a one-out triple. Davis responded by striking out the next two hitters to end the inning.

In the bottom of the inning, Lutheran scored two more runs on Matt Duggins' single. After Jeff Drayer hit a ground-rule double over the right-field fence, Yeager was replaced by Adkinson, who got the Quakers out of the inning.

The third inning was Davis' best as he struck out the side.

Davis cruised along in the fourth and fifth innings while Adkinson began losing control.

An errant pickoff throw, two wild pitches, two walks and hits by Alex Bickel, Davis, Downes, Matt Langley and Gordy Calvert enabled the Saints to extend their lead to 5-0.

Davis was able to get out of the next two innings without allowing a run despite facing 10 batters, to give Lutheran the win and the championship. Davis said he pitched even better than he expected.

"I didn't expect a shutout, everything just worked today," said Davis, who also won game No. 1 of the series with a 11-4 five-hitter.

"I felt really good out on the mound. Every pitch was working real well. I threw my knuckleball a couple times and that worked. I just felt great out there."

Lutheran coach Tom Kolb was confident with Davis all along.

"I knew he would pitch well," Kolb said. "Joel always rises to the occasion."

Kolb, whose team lost to Boys' Latin last year in the championship, attributed playoff experience as a factor as well.

"This year we were not walking on egg shells and just glad to be in the championship, but we were ready to win it," he said.

This championship was particularly significant to Kolb, who was a player on the last Lutheran team to win a title 10 years ago.

It was also a special win for Davis.

"It's great to bring home a championship your senior year for the team and for the school," he said.

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