Owings Mills keeps Lansdowne stranded, 1-0


March 27, 2004|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Owings Mills coach Hal Rudo emphasizes in practice the importance of making the routine plays. It paid off yesterday in the Eagles' 1-0 victory at Lansdowne in the Baltimore County Class 2A-1A baseball league.

Lansdowne (0-1) left a runner on third in each of the last five innings as the Eagles (2-1) made routine plays under pressure five consecutive times.

Second baseman Matt Hecht, who scored the only run in the first, fielded a ground ball off the bat of Eric Klug and threw to first with two outs and a man on third for the game's final out.

"That's amazing to do that five straight innings," Rudo said of his defending Baltimore County 2A-1A champions. "These kids have the confidence to make the routine play, and we also had a little luck going on."

Dave Silverman, who pitched into the seventh, giving up three hits, three strikeouts and three walks, got the win. Left-hander Curtis Hauser got the final three outs and the save.

George Shalker started the bottom of the seventh with a single, and Rudo called for Hauser, who was playing right field.

"I was told if the first guy got on, I was coming in for a change of velocity and pitch type," Hauser said. "I felt pretty comfortable and fresh. I didn't hit well today [0-for-3], so I had to come in and do something."

Silverman, who has a herky-jerky delivery and short-arms the ball, appeared to balk on a feint to first base with a runner on third in the third inning. The Vikings didn't get the call, or they might still be playing.

And freshman catcher Sean Puller twice blocked pitches in the dirt with a runner on third base to keep the Vikings from tying the score.

"My kids hustle and make the routine outs," Rudo said. "We don't want to give the other team five outs an inning, and that's what they've been doing."

Pat Thomas, who went all the way for Lansdowne on 112 pitches, hit Jason Goren with the bases loaded in the first inning to bring in Hecht.

Thomas, a right-hander who relies on his fastball and location, gave up five hits, struck out five and walked four.

He also stranded 10 Eagles runners after giving up the first-inning run.

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