In weather more appropriate for the Winter X Games, Catonsville High’s baseball team proved they could handle blustery and cold conditions when they prevailed, 9-2, over visiting Lansdowne in the season opener for both teams.
“We’ve been outside every single day so you could tell we were acclimated to it,” Catonsville coach Rich Hambor said.
Catonsville pitcher John Klein appeared as comfortable on the mound in the sub-30 degree windchill as an Eskimo ice fishing on a frozen pound.
Klein allowed one earned run in five innings, yielding three hits and one walk, while striking out three.
“He hasn’t really missed a beat,” Hambor said. “It was great to see a nice consistent start.”
Lansdowne senior starter Sam Warfield didn’t fare as well in the elements.
The All-County First Team hurler last season, when he went 4-1 with a 1.71 earned run average and 66 strikeouts in 41 innings, battled control difficulties.
After Catonsville’s Chris Bruno plated Rob Wheelton in the first inning for a 1-0 lead, the Comets tacked on three more after four walks in the second.
Scott Beautz, Kevin Sheppard and Joey Getzendanner scored on a passed ball and RBI ground outs by Wheelton and Brendan McTaggart.
Bruno doubled and Jeremy Davis singled in a two-run rally in the third for a 6-0 lead.
Sheppard’s ground out scored Bruno and an infield single by Getzendanner scored Davis.
Lansdowne scored its first run in the top of the fourth when Markise Williams walked, hustled two bases on a wild pitch, and scored on Brian Voyce’s single down the third base line.
Klein’s run-scoring double in the fifth keyed a three-run inning for the Comets' final runs.