Franklin pitcher Mike Trott says he's never been known for his pinpoint control on the mound. Recently, however, the junior says he's been working hard to change that.
Yesterday against visiting Patapsco, he showed just what a little hard work can do.
Trott threw 66 of his 86 pitches for strikes, using an assortment of fastballs and changeups to keep hitters off balance all day and lead the seventh-ranked Indians to a 7-2 victory over the No. 15 Patriots in a Baltimore County 3A-4A League game.
The right-hander scattered eight hits, picking up at least one strikeout every inning -- 10 for the game -- and extending his streak of consecutive innings without a walk to 18.
"I've been working on my mechanics a lot, and that's helped me stay more around the plate," said Trott (5-1). "I think I've just found my groove. I'm hitting my spots and getting ahead in the count, making them hit my pitch."
For most of yesterday's game, he had the normally hot-hitting Patriots either lunging across the plate or swinging at air.
"He mixed his pitches up real well," said Patapsco coach Dave Ingle. "The kids were swinging their bats, but he had their number today. He threw a nice game."
The victory puts Franklin (9-1 overall and in the league) a half-game back of first-place Perry Hall, which had its game against Randallstown postponed due to poor conditions.
After back-to-back wins over Randallstown and Patapsco, Indians coach Chich Vrany said his team is performing at the top of its game.
"We're where we want to be right now," said Vrany. "We want to win a few more, of course, but right now we're playing the kind of ball we think we can play. We want to win the county championship, but more importantly we want to be playing at the end of the year."
Franklin scored two runs in both the third and fifth innings and one each in the second, fourth and sixth. Though the Indians only had five hits, they took advantage of four Patapsco errors.
Nick Hienz led the way at the plate with two hits, including a long double to right-center, and a pair of RBIs. Dom Liberto also made his mark, singling twice and reaching base all three times, stealing a base and driving in a run.
Leadoff hitter Wayne Brooks led Patapsco (7-4, 7-4), with two hits, including a double.
* Southern-B 7, City 0: James Benton (5-1) struck out 16 and walked two batters as Southern-B (11-3) defeated host City. Benton added two hits, including a triple and an RBI for the Bulldogs. Nick Ridenour contributed three RBIs.
* Pikesville 10, Milford Mill 0: Brad Rosenberg (3-0) pitched a five-inning no-hitter to lead Pikesville (6-2) to a win over visiting Milford Mill (0-8). Rosenberg struck out five batters and walked three. Dawan Owens went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs.
* Owings Mills 4, Carver A & T 0: Adam Silverman (2-1) pitched a perfect game, going seven innings and striking out 10 as host Owings Mills (9-1) shut out Carver A & T (0-10). Silverman went 1-for-3 with a triple and an RBI.
* Bel Air 7, C.M. Wright 0: Bel Air (8-4, 3-0) scored four unearned fifth-inning runs with the help of three errors and two wild pitches to break open a Harford County League game at C. Milton Wright (6-3, 1-1). Bill Greenwell and Brad Abel combined for a five-hit shutout.
* Severna Park 2, Glen Burnie 1: Amanda Melgaard broke a scoreless tie with a triple in the sixth inning, and junior Christy Huber allowed only two hits and struck out 11 as No. 2 Severna Park's upset No. 1 Glen Burnie.
* Mercy 7, Spalding 5: Meg Kline hit a two-out, two-run homer in the fifth inning to lift host Mercy (8-5) over No. 6 Spalding (12-2). Kline went 3-for-3 with two homers, a triple and five RBIs. Cory Kamen also went 3-for-3 with a double and a triple for the Sharpshooters.