Holley, Howard control Atholton

He strikes out 9, walks none in 85-pitch effort that yields 2-1 victory

Baseball

High Schools

April 13, 2002|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Howard's Matt Holley has a three-pitch repertoire that includes an 82 mph fastball, but the essence of his game is control.

He's pitched 33 innings this season and walked just three.

Yesterday, against No. 14 Atholton, Holley did not walk a batter, struck out nine, allowed three hits and earned the visiting Lions a 2-1 victory with an 85-pitch complete game.

The win kept the Lions (6-3, 5-2 conference) one game behind Mount Hebron (7-2, 6-1) in the Howard County league race.

"He's pitched well all season, but he really stepped up today," Lions coach Rich Jenkins said. "He showed he's as good as anyone in the county. His curve was really working."

It was Holley's fourth complete game in five starts, as he raised his record to 3-1 with one save. His only loss was to Mount Hebron, 2-0; both runs were unearned.

"I had a good feeling about this game," said Holley, who struggled last season with a sore arm. "I got a good night's rest."

The 6-foot-2, 165-pound senior right-hander followed his normal pitching-day routine of listening to music on his headphones and not talking on the bus on the way to the game.

"Coach [Jenkins] said there was no pressure after losing to Long Reach Wednesday. But I thought we had to win today," said Holley, who credited pitching coach Russ Bryant for turning him into a high-quality pitcher.

Holley's pitching opponent, Matt Revelle, deserved a better fate. Revelle (4-1) struck out 12, walked one and allowed seven hits in a solid performance marred only by Atholton's poor defensive support.

Both runs against Revelle were unearned. The first one, in the first inning, resulted from a double by Chris Masters and two errors.

Howard scored another run in the second inning on an error, a stolen base and a double by Mike McDermott.

Atholton scored in the bottom of the second inning on a single by Tom Newcomb, a stolen base, a passed ball and an infield single by Revelle.

"We're struggling at the plate," Atholton coach Kevin Kelly said. "But Holley will beat a lot of people. We're facing the other team's best pitching every game."

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