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Catonsville High baseball team ends busy week with third victory in four games

Catonsville baseball team on hot streak

The Catonsville baseball team started a stretch of six games in six days on April 20 with a pair of close losses to Sparrows Point and Eastern Tech, but they ended with wins in three of the final four to improve to 9-5 overall.

The final game of the six was the easiest as they cruised to a 12-2 victory at home against Perry Hall (3-9).

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Cody Brick hit a two-run home run and Nick Eiswert had two hits and reached base five times.

Eiswert is a freshman who hit a home run in his first varsity plate appearance and he is batting .500 with 20 hits in 40 at bats.

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"He's a freshman and he's going through some ups and downs, but even his downs are better than most people's average," Catonsville coach Rich Hambor said. "He is learning the speed of the game. He's already got the size and he's learning a little bit of the intricacies and nuances of a varsity baseball hitter which is just going to make him better as a sophomore, junior and senior."

Brick's home run was his team-leading third of the season.

"I was just trying to drive it," said Brick, a junior who is batting .439 with 12 RBIs and 10 runs scored."

In a later at bat, Brick hit a foul ball that cleared the chain-link fence surrounding the turf field where a lacrosse game was being played.

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"That one was kind of more fun," Brick said.

Brick noted the power strokes are contagious.

"It's contagious in a game, but also in practice it's a great environment," Brick said. "There is nobody that gets mad when somebody else does good. We are in it to win it. We want to win."

Brick and Eiswert are not the only Comets that have hit homers.

Will Jones has belted two round-trippers and Adam Grace and Brenden Kehoe have one each.

Jones also has six doubles and is tied with Brick for the team lead in RBIs with 12.

The Comets have four other players batting over .300, including Dallas Evans (.371), Mark Brady (.342), Carl Baker (.333) and Kyle Ryan (.304).

Brady, in his first varsity season, has been playing shortstop in place of Brick, who was the designated hitter for a week because of torn cartilage in his knee.

"He (Brady) is learning the speed of the game, but he is playing against 17 and 18-year olds and it's a little bit different and he's adjusting to that very well," Hambor said.

Baker, a senior southpaw, is the Comets top pitcher with a 4-0 record, 2.25 earned run average and 1.071 WHIP (walks plus hits divided by innings pitched).

"He does a great job of ground ball, fly ball pitching," Hambor said.

Ryan is 2-1 with a 1.66 e.r.a. and he tossed 3 2/3 innings of one-hit ball against Perry Hall before leaving with a cut finger.

Junior Ben Hall came on in relief and went 2 1/3 innings, while allowing only one hit and lowering his earned run average to 1.95.

Jones has two saves and a 1.26 earned run average and Brady and Tom Brown have also been sharp on the mound.

Brown is 2-0 with an 0.78 e.r.a. in nine innings pitched and Brady has a victory and has not allowed a run in nine innings.

Before the lopsided win over Perry Hall, the Comets played five close games in a row.

The stretch started with a 2-0 loss at Sparrows Point on April 20 and it continued the next day with a 6-5 loss at Eastern Tech.

Catonsville earned a 5-3 victory over North Harford on April 23, and split a double-header at Towson, losing the first game, 3-1, and winning the second, 3-2.

Hambor was optimistic that the steady workload of games will help the Comets as they prepare for the playoffs.

They are currently the third seed in the Class 4A North Region behind Dulaney and Howard.

"I know we can beat any of the teams in our section or region, but we've got to continue to eliminate our little mistakes and our mental errors," Hambor said. "We've just played six games in six days and that is good for us and we are going to play four games next week."

The poor spring weather hasn't allowed the team the extra practice time needed to fine tune some things, but the coach has seen improvement as the weather has gotten warmer.

"We haven't had a lot of time to make a lot of adjustments, but when we have had time we've made them," Hambor said. "The kids are receptive and they are willing to learn and they are getting better."

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