Sev. Park puts away Southern early, 13-1

Howell's 12 strikeouts, Richter's 3 hits, 4 runs lead Falcons to 4th win

Baseball

April 03, 2003|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

It came down to top-ranked Severna Park jumping on its opponent's starter and host Southern of Harwood failing to jump on Falcons starter Tom Howell in the early innings when it had its chances.

Andrew Jensen, the game's first batter, homered off losing pitcher Brett Jones, and Severna Park (4-0) went on to score three first-inning runs on the way to a 13-1 romp in six innings.

The game was shortened because of the 10-run mercy rule. Sophomore center fielder Evan Richter had three hits and four runs scored, and Jensen and Matt Wyble each had two hits.

Host Southern (3-3) left six runners on base in the first three innings, including the bases loaded in the second, when the Bulldogs scored their only run.

After getting through the first three innings without harm, Howell, who walked his only batter in that time, started getting his fast ball down.

Striking out the last batter in the third with two men on, Howell (2-0) then struck out the side in the fourth and whiffed two more in the sixth to finish with 12 strikeouts and a five-hitter.

Southern third baseman Craig Wood had two of the hits and Ray Matula singled in the only run.

"I still have to work on getting the ball down, but I thought I had good velocity," said Howell, who was 3-0 as a junior and throws a two-seam fast ball with natural movement, a curve and a circle-change.

"It was a lot better than my first outing this year, and next time, hopefully, it's down even more for more ground balls. This team definitely gives us [pitchers] good run support."

Howell's mates added a single run in the third, three in the fifth and shortened the game with a six-run outburst in the sixth inning. Designated hitter Chris Crum had a two-run homer and Jensen a triple, his second hit.

"I've been in a slump, and the home run was my third hit of the year," said Jensen, who scored three runs and, with Howell, is headed to Salisbury University in the fall. "It really felt good as soon as I hit it. I didn't think it was going over."

Severna Park coach Jim McCandless was more than pleased with his team's swinging the bat, but Southern coach Gary Gubbings lamented his team's lack of batting punch.

"We swung the bats well, much better than we have early on, and with our team speed we can make a lot of things happen," said McCandless.

Said Gubbings: "Howell did a great job for them. ... He was giving us one decent pitch to hit, and we weren't making adjustments late in the game to get on that pitch. But regardless how many runs they would have scored, he would have held us in check."

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