Damiano, South Carroll triumph Sophomore pitcher leads 2-0 win over N. Carroll

March 26, 1997|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

South Carroll sophomore Kevin Damiano said he was a little nervous going into his first varsity start. He certainly didn't look the part.

The hard-throwing left-hander pitched five scoreless innings and scored both South Carroll runs to lead the Cavaliers to a 2-0 win over county rival North Carroll yesterday in Winfield.

"It's been awhile since I pitched and I haven't been at the varsity level," Damiano said. "I had my fastball working and threw where I needed it -- low and outside. This was a great experience."

Damiano, hitting in the leadoff spot, also got his first varsity hit -- a single between first and second -- in the bottom of the third to get the Cavaliers' offense going against North Carroll junior left-hander Jason Hudgins, who also pitched a fine game aside from some untimely wildness.

Drew Parks followed with a single down the third-base line, sending Damiano to second. Mike Tompkins was then hit by a pitch to load the bases and Damiano came across when Hudgins hit Matt Jones with a pitch.

The Cavaliers got an insurance run when Damiano led off the fifth with a triple to right and scored on a single up the middle by Parks.

In his five innings on the mound, he was always able to get the key out when he needed to -- most of them strikeouts. The Panthers (0-2) had two runners on with two outs in the second inning when Damiano got catcher Chadd Lettau looking at a third strike.

With runners on second and third and one out in the third, he struck out Chad Crowl and Dave Burton -- the Panthers' three-four hitters -- to end the threat.

"We know he can throw hard and he also threw with a lot of poise. He came through for us," said South Carroll coach Bradley Collins.

The Cavaliers are off to a 3-0 start this season after winning just six game last year.

"All the kids have a positive attitude and there's a re-dedication to the game. They want to play ball and want to win. Last year, the kids put too much pressure on themselves and ran into some great ballclubs," Collins said.

Despite the loss, North Carroll coach Denny Snyder was pleased with how well his young club responded after a 10-7 loss to Urbana the day before. The Panthers have one regular back in Crowl and he's moved from catcher to an outfield spot this season.

"We had nine errors in the 10-7 loss to Urbana," he said. "After that, this was a breath of fresh air. It shows the kids I have. South Carroll's a good experienced team. [Damiano] kept our batters off-balance. We're not a power-hitting team so we need to do a better job of creating a little more offense."

Pub Date: 3/26/97

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