Jefferson helps Wright strike down Bel Air, 9-3

Pitcher strikes out six, goes 5-for-5 for Mustangs

Baseball

March 28, 2002|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

On a cold, blustery day at C. Milton Wright, Kyle Jefferson brought the heat in a 9-3 victory over defending Harford County champion Bel Air.

Jefferson scorched the Bobcats from the plate as part of a 15-hit attack, going 5-for-5 with a double, a triple and an RBI. The right-hander also sizzled from the mound yesterday, going the distance in striking out six batters on 112 pitches.

"Kyle threw tremendously today. He came out bringing gas, his curveball was on, everything was great. He was in a zone," said Mark Miller, who was 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. "This is the team we expect to bring out every single game. I mean, we just blew it up today."

One of four returning pitchers with Jefferson, Miller said the No. 12 Mustangs played with an internal fire yesterday gained from a newspaper article that "questioned our senior leadership," Miller said.

That, and a pre-game pep talk by coach Joe Oswald had the Mustangs steaming.

"Coach said we had to earn some respect, and we wanted to prove people wrong," Miller said.

Jefferson also scored twice and was among one of eight batters who had at least one hit for the Mustangs (2-0, 2-0 league). Todd Berkley was 2-for-4, with a double and an RBI, and Pat Barberry (1-for-2) sparked a three-run seventh inning with a two-run triple. Brian Kelly also doubled for the Mustangs.

Run-scoring hits by Larry Carroll and Kevin Amig sparked a four-run fourth inning that had the Mustangs up 4-0. Caleb Cole's RBI single made it 5-0 in the fifth, and John Thurston's sacrifice fly in the sixth scored Jefferson to make it 6-2.

"Bel Air's like a five-minute ride from here, so it's a big rivalry between us," Jefferson said. "They thought they were going to win, but I think we shut them down."

For Bel Air (0-2 league) Adam Eaton was 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored, and Bo Penn had a run-scoring single.

"We made mental mistakes today, and you can't make mental mistakes against a ballclub like this and then not hit," said Bobcats coach John Swanson. "Our pitching has kept us in the ballgames, but our senior leaders and hitters haven't stepped up to get it done."

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