South Carroll rocks Liberty, 9-2 Damiano pitches well

Cavaliers bang out 13 hits


March 27, 1998|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The South Carroll Cavaliers came into yesterday's game against rival Liberty having practiced outside just six days, and having taken batting practice only twice.

Once play began, however, they looked to be in mid-season form.

Pitcher Kevin Damiano allowed two hits and an unearned run through five innings, and got plenty of support from both the offense and defense in a 9-2 win over the host No. 15-ranked Lions in a non-league game.

South Carroll (1-1) banged out 13 hits, including three each by Damiano and left fielder Scott Hinton, and turned a pair of double plays after going the entire 1997 season without one.

"I feel that if we throw strikes and make the routine plays, we'll be all right," said South Carroll first-year coach George Richardson, who used all 19 players. "As long as we've gone up and been aggressive at the plate, we've been fine so far."

For Liberty (0-2), that hasn't yet been the case. Minus eight of nine starters on last spring's Class 3A state champion, the Lions are young and prone to mistakes, as evidenced by their five errors yesterday.

Though coach Steve Insley feels the Lions will develop into one of the area's better teams come playoff time -- especially after next month's expected return of veteran pitcher and outfielder Bryan Bandy (broken hands) -- for now the key word is patience.

"We know we have to get better every game," said Insley. "I've got young guys who haven't played at this level before. When you've got that, you just have to bear with them and teach them when they make mistakes. It's different, but the fun thing about high school is you know it's going to be different every year. You can't expect the same level of play."

South Carroll jumped on sophomore starter Perry Sartain from the outset, putting up seven runs (five earned) and 10 hits in his three innings of work. The key blows were provided by Ben Carr, whose first-inning single drove in two; Chris Vasse, who doubled in a run in the second; and Hinton, who had RBI singles in the second and third.

Justin Cavey later added a two-run pinch-hit triple to the gap in right-center.

Damiano scored after reaching base in each of his four at-bats. On the mound, he was even more effective.

Making his first start of the season, the junior used an assortment of fastballs and curves to keep the Lions off balance.

To Richardson, beating a depleted Liberty team was still rewarding.

"They are still state champions," he said "and they'll be state champions until someone else wins it."

Pub Date: 3/27/98

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