Glenelg pitcher and outfielder John McAuliffe did most of his damage with his bat on Tuesday, going 3-for-4 with two singles and a double, stolen base and RBI in a 4-0 home victory over Centennial.
But the senior also came in and closed the door by pitching a scoreless seventh inning, allowing one hit and striking out the side, and the zeros are starting to become routine for McAuliffe. In fact, he hasn’t allowed a single earned run in 43 innings since the start of last year.
He threw 21 innings last year as a relief pitcher and now, as the team’s No. 2 starter, he hasn’t allowed an earned run in 22 innings pitched. He has allowed a handful of unearned runs, but none allowed in his varsity career.
“It’s big time. We’re really happy for him. He’s always been a very humble pitcher,” said Gladiators coach Steve Ballance. “He works extremely hard and he always follows the game plan that we have, no matter who he’s pitching against.”
Perhaps most impressive is the teams McAuliffe has racked up the zeros against. He started games this season against Atholton, allowing five hits and striking out seven in seven innings, Reservoir and Howard, when he allowed just four singles and last year he came in routinely to pitch in high-stress situations late in games.
The combination of McAuliffe and senior ace Sean Kinloch has Glenelg off an 8-4 start and 6-3 in county play.
“This year we list [McAuliffe] as a No. 2 behind Kinloch but for high school standards those guys are like aces for us,” Ballance said. “... He throws three pitches — fastball, curve ball and changeup — for strikes, he works quick, he pitches to the defense and he gets his strikeouts.
“It couldn’t happen to a nicer kid. He’s one of our captains and he leads by example. He’s very quiet but he’s very into it. He’s always risen to the occasion as a pitcher.”
McAuliffe, who Ballance said is batting around .400 and leads the team with 12 stolen bases, will put his streak on the line Wednesday against Howard, a team he face in tournament action on April 12. Ballance knows that all good things must come to end eventually, but he said he would obviously love to see it continue deep into the season.
“It’s bound to come to an end sooner or later and the target’s really on his back for it, but if he pitches his game and does what he always does and we help him out offensively and defensively, it will be like it always is and we’ll be right there with a chance to win,” he said. “That’s all we ask from our starting pitchers — a chance to win the game. ... He’s done that for 43 innings worth on varsity in different roles over more than a year now.”
Against the Eagles on Tuesday, Kinloch pitched six scoreless innings, allowing four hits and one walk while striking out four, and he has a scoreless inning streak that is now at 13 over his last two starts. He also had an RBI double in the sixth inning to break the game open and scored a run on a squeeze bunt by Connor McIntyre. Sophomore Tad Henley had a pinch-hit single in the sixth, and freshman Eddie Dello Russo went 1-for-3 with a double, a run scored and a stolen base for Glenelg.
Glenelg (6-3 county, 8-4 overall) — 4, Centennial (4-2, 4-3) — 0
123 456 7 R-H-E
C 000 000 0 0-5-3
G 000 004 x 4-6-3
Other scored from around the league on Tuesday, April 18:
Long Reach (2-5, 3-6) — 7, Hammond (3-5, 3-5) — 5
123 456 7 R-H-E
Ha 100 400 0 5-5-3
LR 120 301 x 7-7-1
2B: LR — Huffman, Poler
RBI: LR — Huffman (3), Shupe, King; Ha — Walls, Woodson, Eschman
WP: Moore; Save: Huffman
Marriotts Ridge (5-2, 8-3) — 6, Howard (5-4, 8-4) — 4
123 456 7 R-H-E
Ho 010 100 2 4-9-0
MR 030 030 x 6-9-3
Tyler Bohan allowed eight hits, walked two, struck out three and allowed one earned run over six innings to pick up the win for the Mustangs. TJ Delmonte, Hunter Reeling (2-for-3, SB, BB) and Joey Fellona (2-for-4) hit three straight bases-loaded singles in the second inning to score three runs, and Josh Olsufka hit an RBI double in the fifth. Mahon and Reed Galloway (2-for-3) followed with RBI singles.
Atholton (6-1, 6-1) — 5, Wilde Lake (1-5, 1-5) — 3
123 456 7 R
WL 000 300 0 3
A 110 030 x 5
2B: WL — Yellin
RBI: WL — Arsenault
Reservoir (7-1, 10-1) — 4, Mt. Hebron (2-6, 2-7) — 3
The Gators scored two runs in the top of the seventh to edge the Vikings.
River Hill (7-0, 9-1) — 10, Oakland Mills (2-6, 3-8) — 2