Southwestern pitcher ties 2nd state record after striking out 20

Sanford also shares mark for no-hitters

Sabers win

Baseball

High Schools

April 26, 2005|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Southwestern senior Joe Sanford tied a second state baseball pitching record when he struck out 20 in a 7-6 win over Lake Clifton (5-3) in nine innings yesterday.

"I've taught myself to pitch, never had a pitching coach and everybody keeps telling me how good I am, but nobody comes to see us play," said Sanford, who throws a fastball in the low- to mid-80s, a slider and a knuckle curve and has superb control.

Sanford threw 132 pitches and had no walks. Only twice did he go to a count of three balls, in the second and eighth innings. The eighth was the only inning that he did not have a strikeout.

After giving up six unearned runs on four hits and seven errors by the host Sabers (8-2), Sanford walked with one out in the bottom of the ninth and stole second. He came home standing up with the winning run on a line single to left-center field by his catcher, Shorty Parent.

Sanford, who tied the state mark for no-hitters in a season with his third last week, tied the record for most strikeouts in any game of nine innings or less.

"Joe doesn't get any help from his defense, you could see that today," said coach Terry Leverett, also the boys basketball coach.

"He's a natural and only needs someone to work with him. This is a basketball school, and I can't help him. I'm not a pitching coach."

Sanford, a 6-foot-3, 160-pound right-hander who is 6-0 this spring and 11-0 in two varsity seasons, becomes the second area pitcher to strike out 20 in a game this season.

Steve Johnson of No. 2-ranked St. Paul's had 20 in a seven-inning, 5-2 win at McDonogh on March 22 to tie the seven-inning record previously set by Bohemia Manor's Eric Losten in 2001.

The overall record for 10 innings or more is 24 by Ricky Dawson of Brunswick in 1969.

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