The league season is only five games old, but Glenelg already has put some distance between itself and the other contenders.
Yesterday, its hitting upstaged a Howard squad that came in with a .366 team batting average. Last Friday, the Gladiators beat Atholton.
Fifth-ranked Glenelg (8-1 overall, 5-0 in the league) rapped 14 hits to seven for Howard (4-4, 3-2) in beating the Lions, 10-4.
Glenelg's Ben Gugliotta, coming off two disappointing starts, pitched all seven innings.
"I lost to South Carroll and got shelled by Oakland Mills in my last two starts," Gugliotta said. "So today felt good. I was a little intimidated hearing about how well Howard could hit, but my sidearm fastball was effective today. I struggled again with my curve. This was the best we've hit the ball all season, and it was a big win in what is a tough week for us."
Glenelg plays Centennial (5-4, 4-1) tomorrow.
Howard coach Matt Forsyth said his team should have done better against Gugliotta.
"He [Gugliotta] was effectively wild. We were too selfish and swung at too many bad pitches," Forsyth said. "We're worried too much about our individual batting averages. We should have had a lot more walks."
Gugliotta walked four -- three in a two-run Howard fourth inning that ended when Frank Tortella lined into a double play at first base.
Howard also scored twice in the second inning on a single by Jim Harris and doubles by Ryan Malone and Brian Snively. Malone doubled again in the sixth inning.
Glenelg scored a run in the first inning on an RBI single by Mike Goldberg, and added an unearned run in the second before breaking through for four runs on five hits in the third against Lions starter Cailean Leith.
Zach Guerra and Jason Mitchell hit RBI singles and Gugliotta hit a two-run double.
Guerra went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. Mitchell, playing his first game as designated hitter, went 2-for-4. Gugliotta was 2-for-4 and Robin Davis went 3-for-4. Eight of Glenelg's nine starters had at least one hit.
"This is the first game that Davis has hit the ball solidly," coach Ed Ashwell said. "Our defense and hitting are coming around, but are not quite there yet."
Glenelg expanded its 6-4 lead with a four-run seventh inning, led by Guerra's two-run double and Gugliotta's RBI single.
The loss dropped Howard two games behind Glenelg, and the Lions face hard-hitting Atholton tomorrow.
But with nine league games left, Forsyth said the loss doesn't end Howard's hopes for a county title.
"No one loss is more important than another. A loss is a loss. But it would have been nice to beat the team that's ahead of you. We just need to buckle down and do the things we're capable of doing."