Nash faster than wind for Cardinals Calvert Hall tops Arundel as Ey's hit plates winner in early battle of powers

March 24, 1998|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

The wind was nasty yesterday at Calvert Hall, but the winning hurler's curveball was nastier. The temperatures were finger-numbing, but his fastball was red-hot.

Calvert Hall senior right-hander Justin Nash struck out seven batters, walked one and was clocked consistently between 86-90 mph over 74 pitches in a 2-0, two-hit shutout of fourth-ranked defending Class 4A state champion Chesapeake of Anne Arundel County.

Nash impressed scouts from 13 different major league organizations as the second-ranked defending MIAA A champion Cardinals won their opener. More importantly, the victory avenged Calvert Hall's two straight losses to the Cougars (0-1), who last year edged Nash, 2-1, at Chesapeake.

Nash was 10-2 overall last season.

"I threw my curveball real well, had good control of my pitches and probably threw about 75 percent of them for strikes," said the Penn State-bound Nash. "My catcher [Gordon Stebbings] is only a junior, and this our first time in a game together, but he did a real good job. They beat us my sophomore and junior years, so this feels pretty good."

The Cardinals played errorless ball behind Nash, highlighted by second baseman Damian Michalak (six assists), who crossed the plate to give Calvert Hall a 1-0 lead on Mike Ey's second-inning double with two outs.

Stebbings' fifth-inning single led to Calvert Hall's second run after his pinch-runner, Greg Smoot, stole second, took third on a throwing error and scored on a bloop single by Greg DeBoy.

Chesapeake was without Maryland-bound slugger Ray Wagner, whose two hits keyed last year's win. Wagner was on the bench after having forgotten his playing cleats, according to Chesapeake coach Jim Simms. Without Wagner, Nash yielded only a single to Mike Bois -- the game's second batter -- and a double to the second-to-last hitter, Rob Sadler.

"I'd have liked to have hit the ball a little better, but Nash just said, 'You're not going to use your bats today,' " said Simms. "He kept the ball low and away, and if you notice, all our contact sent the ball to the right side."

Although they won, the Cardinals of coach Joe Binder had only four hits and failed to score in several key situations.

"We always have a tough game against them. They play well against us," Binder said. "I like the way their kids play. They're well-coached."

Pub Date: 3/24/98

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