The Francis Scott Key Eagles have come a long way in a short time this season.
Their 6-5 win over visiting Boonsboro yesterday in Uniontown was a case in point.
The Eagles, who have won five of their last six after a 1-4 start, came back from three-run and one-run deficits. Senior Billy Baker snapped a 4-4 tie in the sixth inning with a bases-loaded single that scored two.
Senior pitcher Mike Crawmer went 6 2/3 strong innings to get the win and Bill Suter came in to get the final out with runners on second and third.
Baker's error at third base sparked a three-run third inning for Boonsboro, but he made up for it in the sixth with a sharp grounder just under the glove of Boonsboro third baseman Jeff Heuer, who was playing up with one out and Nathan Springer in relief of Boonsboro starer Jason Fauble.
"I had to make up for what I did in the field," Baker said. "It was a fastball on the outside corner and I just wanted to come around on it. We got off to a slow start, but have really put it together and had something to prove today with Boonsboro in our region."
Key first-year coach Bob Reese, who coached the "B" squad the past three seasons, said the biggest adjustment the team has made has been at the plate, where he's letting the players swing with more freedom.
Yesterday, the Eagles pounded out 10 hits after Fauble kept them hitless in the first two innings. Catcher Darrell Smith and Baker, the Eagles' eight and nine hitters, were 6-for-6 with three RBIs and three runs scored.
"We changed the philosophy. When I had these guys as freshmen, we would have them take a lot of pitches, but now we're letting them be aggressive and they're making things happen," Reese said.
"Anytime your eight and nine guys are hitting like that, you're doing OK. Billy's a captain and he made a couple of bad plays at third, and being the third base coach, I could see it in his eyes he wanted the chance to get that hit and he came through."
Crawmer, who did a great job of mixing a slow curve with his fastball , tired in the seventh and walked the first two batters he faced. He then got Boonsboro's third hitter, Ryan Kretzer, to hit a grounder to Baker at third to get the lead runner and struck out Fauble. Designated hitter Phil Physoc hit a sharp grounder to second, which Shawn Diehl couldn't come up with, to get Boonsboro within one.
That's when Reese called on Suter to get the last out. He did, getting Brad Abrecht to ground out to Diehl to end the game.
"Mike [Crawmer] pitched a strong game for us and I have confidence in Bill [Suter] that he can get me a ground ball and he did," Reese said.