2nd-ranked St. Joe deals John Carroll first loss, 8-1

Three long home runs back Byrade's pitching

Baseball

High Schools

March 30, 2000|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Three long home runs and a solid, no-nonsense pitching performance by Dave Byrade gave second-ranked Mount St. Joseph an 8-1 victory over previously unbeaten John Carroll yesterday.

Mount St. Joseph struck for three runs in its first at-bat, one coming on a homer over the center-field fence by Joe Peeler, and could have put the bats away considering the game Byrade was going to turn in on the mound.

"He needed that," Mount St. Joseph coach Dave Norton said of his pitcher. "He lost a 2-1 game to Glen Burnie his last time out, and this will serve as a pick-me-up."

Byrade scattered four hits over six innings and showed just how effective a pitcher can be when he has two pitches working, a fastball and curve, and the opposition doesn't know which one is coming.

Fully as important for the right-hander is that he rarely fell behind on the ball-strike count.

"Maybe the only mistake he made all day is when he fell behind a hitter 3-and-1 with a runner in scoring position and had to come in with a fat pitch. That led to Carroll's only run," said the coach.

The Gaels scored their first run almost before Carroll's starting pitcher, Jordan Stubblefield, got the mound the way he wanted it. Zach Kuehne stung a single to right field to start it. He was off with the pitch when Joe Sargent hit a double to left-center, and Kuehne scored easily. Two outs later, Sargent scored on a wild pitch and Peeler followed with a blast over the center-field fence that scattered John Carroll's girls track team, about to start practice.

The home team got its run in the fourth inning, and Mount St. Joseph got it back posthaste in the fifth on a walk, stolen base, fielder's choice and infield hit.

A barrage ensued in the seventh when Sargent crushed a two-run homer to deepest left -- he could have circled the bases twice -- which was immediately followed by a shot over the fence and trees in center by Allen Strick.

The victory was Mount St. Joseph's ninth in 10 games and went a long way toward curing what ails the team, according to the coach.

"Thing we've been working on in practice is cutting down our strikeouts," said Norton.

"We struck out 15 times in the loss to Glen Burnie. That's ridiculous. We tell the guys to choke up, do anything to get the bat on the ball and put it in play." The team had six strikeouts yesterday.

John Carroll is 2-1.

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