8-0 Lions make hits count Winning close ones: Dulaney's baseball team has five one-run victories and leads Baltimore County's Central Division.

April 17, 1996|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Left-hander Danny Williams claims to have secretly predicted the success of this year's Dulaney baseball team.

"It's basically the same one that went undefeated as sophomores on JV, with a few more players," said Williams, the Lions' ace. "A lot of us had worked hard during the off-season, talked among ourselves, and felt we could make an impact. But we tried to keep it quiet."

But the big cats are out of the bag, and the Lions are unbeaten, ranked No. 11 in the area, and leading Baltimore County's nine-member Central Division at 5-0 in league play.

Monday's 7-6 win over Towson was the Lions' eighth straight win, pushing them past last year's 7-11 mark. It was an ugly decision that included seven Dulaney errors in its fifth one-run victory.

"The kids know that they could just as easily be 3-5," said third-year coach Ron Audlin, whose Lions had committed just 10 errors in their previous seven games.

"Towson was a combination of a bad field and cold weather -- but we survived," said senior catcher Chris Holloway, who has played errorless ball, batted .409 with six each in RBI and runs scored, and two doubles. "We're an experienced team that's confident in our abilities to come back."

The best defensive players are seniors Joe Metz (second base) and Colin Snow (outfield), and juniors Andy Hench (shortstop), Adam Lucas (outfield) and J.P. Wilson (outfield). Snow, who has two doubles, is also 1-0 on the mound with the Lions' easiest win, 10-1, over Hereford.

With a team batting average of .317, an average of just under nine hits per game and not one player who has a home run, the Lions have relied on smart base running, contact hitting and "a little luck," said Audlin.

Lucas is the No. 1 batter at .475 with 10 RBI, seven runs scored, four doubles and a triple. Wilson (.458, five RBIs, 12 runs) is next, followed by junior third baseman Scott Chester (.435, six RBIs) and Holloway.

Perhaps the most telling win came by 4-1 over Spalding, a team that hung tough in one-run losses to No. 3 Mount St. Joseph and No. 5 Gilman.

Williams is 2-0 with 13 strikeouts in as many innings. He has walked two batters and has a 1.62 ERA with wins over then-No. 18 Dundalk, 4-1, and previously undefeated Parkville, 3-2.

"He's got good size at 6-1, 180, and a good fastball, changeup; and he's very smart at setting up batters," Audlin said.

Junior right-hander Matt Romanini (13 strikeouts, 16 innings) transferred from Calvert Hall as a sophomore. The 5-8, 150-pounder is 3-0 with one-run decisions over Pikesville (10-9), Loch Raven (6-5) and then-No. 18 Mervo (11-10). "He's a junk-baller who's come in and won all of his games as a reliever when we were getting rocked. He's stopped the other teams cold," Audlin said.

"He's not real flashy, but he throws strikes and induces grounders for outs," said Holloway. "Matt pitched real well on JV with a couple of no-hitters, so he's a good stopper along with Damon Holmes [two saves]."

The Lions also have 6-3, 190-pound sophomore Steve Duncan (2-0).

"There are no prima donnas on this team. I alternate two players at some positions, and whoever is not playing will be rooting for the other kid," Audlin said. "If we lose, it won't be for lack of effort. These players just don't seem to quit, and that's what the winning's been about."

Pub Date: 4/17/96

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