No. 15 Poly nearing 2nd straight `A' title

14-3 win over Mervo lifts Engineers to 12-0 in league


April 30, 2002|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Poly freshman Brandon Roane had a seven-run lead after four innings and seemed well on his way toward his second win in as many starts when the visiting Mervo baseball team began to nail his pitches.

But that's also when Roane's teammates came to his aid.

Second-team All-Metro pitcher Corey Cascio came on in relief, and the 15th-ranked Engineers' hammered Mervo for four of their 11 hits in the decisive sixth inning of yesterday's 14-3 rout. The Baltimore City League A Division victory, via the 10-run rule, did not require a seventh inning.

Poly (13-0, 12-0 A Division) can clinch its second straight title with a win tomorrow at Patterson (9-2).

The Engineers led 7-0 after Roane retired 12 of the first 14 batters, five on strikeouts. But Roane was tagged for six hits over the fifth and sixth innings by the Mustangs (8-3, 8-3).

"My fastball was working, and I had good location on my curveball," said Roane, who yielded his first hit in the fourth inning. "But I got tired, and they got their hits."

Jayme Krochune's bases-empty home run started the Mustangs' two-run fifth inning, which also included a run-scoring single by Devaldo Chappell.

In the sixth inning, Mervo's Ben Frankenberger (2-for-2 with a walk) smashed another bases-empty home run to make it 7-3. After a double by McKenzie Fowler, Cascio replaced Roane and struck out the last two batters - including Krochune - on 10 pitches.

Roane went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and helped himself defensively in the fifth inning. He tagged out a runner trying to score, thanks to catcher Todd Jacob's retrieval of a passed ball and hustle on the throw back to Roane. Jacob also got another runner in the fifth, thanks to a nifty throw from Cascio.

"All I was asked to do was to go five innings," Roane said. "It's nice to have a team like mine backing me up."

Poly led 10-3 after a three-run single by Anthony Fitzgerald (2-for-4, five RBIs). For the game, Jacob was 1-for-3 with a double, and Cascio had a run-scoring single against a team the Engineers routed, 12-0, earlier this year.

"We knew they would be out for blood after losing to us the first time," Fitzgerald said. "But we came out and played harder than they did."

A two-run home run by Evan Curbeam (2-for-4, three RBIs) iced Poly's seven-run sixth inning and the game.

"I just wanted to bring in runs," said Curbeam, who struck out in his first at-bat. "But it was a great way to end it."

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