St. Joe, behind Floyd, torches Loyola by 6-1

Soph pitcher hits 93 mph

Dons' Strick homers twice

April 21, 1999|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Loyola coach Tim Nordbrook saw Mount St. Joseph sophomore right-hander Gavin Floyd throw last summer.

Yesterday in Towson, the former Baltimore Orioles' shortstop watched Floyd pitch the No. 2-ranked Gaels to a 6-1 victory over his No. 5 Dons.

"He's gone from trying to throw hard-to-throwing easy to throw hard," was Nordbrook's superb description of the 6-foot-4, 190-pound flame-thrower's effortless delivery.

"He seems to have a real good idea on when to throw his [curve], and at the end of the game, I believe he was throwing harder than he was at the beginning."

Floyd threw 115 pitches, 79 of them strikes, for seven innings, with his fast ball clocked consistently at 88-to-90 mph. He scattered six singles, walked three and struck out eight (five in the middle innings) to post his sixth win without a loss.

In the first inning, the 16-year old Floyd hit 93 mph once on the radar gun of Milwaukee Brewers' scout Dean Albany and was consistently at 90-91 mph.

Floyd, who coach Dave Norton said is "definitely our ace," didn't let up, despite Nordbrook's strategy of making him throw a lot of pitches.

"He definitely paced himself, because we were hoping he might get tired," said Nordbrook, adding that Floyd most definitely is a pro prospect.

"We were taking pitches early and trying to work him, which is what you've got to do against guys [who] throw that well. He definitely threw the hardest of anybody we've seen. If he gets any taller, [goodness] knows how hard he will throw."

Floyd's big-league heat, coupled with an adequate curve ball, dealt Loyola (10-3 overall, 8-1 league) its first loss in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference.

Mount St. Joseph (13-4, 7-2), a 3-2 loser the first time it met the Dons, is now a game behind. No. 3 Calvert Hall and 11th-ranked Archbishop Curley follow at 7-3 and 6-4, respectively.

Junior shortstop Allen Strick homered twice off Loyola starter and loser Jeff Fertitta for three RBIs. Third baseman Steve Brown, drove in the other three runs with a single and double.

Strick's second homer, a towering, two-run shot to right-center in the top of the seventh, broke open a close game, giving the Gaels a 5-1 lead and chasing Fertitta, who gave up six hits, walked two, and struck out two.

Loyola tied the game in the fourth on a Ryan Smith's single to right past Gaels' drawn-in first baseman Joe Hargadon.

Pub Date: 4/21/99

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