Century junior Ethan Kiple talks about his team's win over Francis Scott Key.
ELDERSBURG — A high school baseball team can't play that much better than Century High did Monday.
The Knights meshed pitching, hitting and defense into a 10-0 victory over visiting Francis Scott Key in a game shortened to six innings because of the 10-run rule.
Century junior right-hander Ethan Kiple gave up four hits across 5 1/3 innings and struck out nine batters while walking only one to pick up the victory. Kiple helped his own cause by clubbing a three-run homer in the first inning.
"All phases of our game were very good today," said Century coach Mike Marrale, whose team didn't make an error. "The hitting, pitching and defense. Adam Rolfes at second base had some really good plays. So did the catcher behind the plate."
Marrale was talking about his son Mike, a junior who added a solo home run. Junior right fielder Jeremy Lapp also had a solo homer as the Knights knocked around three Eagles' pitchers for nine hits.
Kiple got the Knights (2-1) going in the bottom of the first inning with a three-run homer just inside the left-field foul pole off of Francis Scott Key senior right-hander Danny Hyman.
Hyman, who went 3-for-3 with a double and two singles, took the loss. He yielded seven hits and five runs in four innings.
Century first baseman Robert Martin pushed the Knights' lead to 4-0 in the third when he scored Nathanael Hibbs with a two-out single to center field. Kiple cruised through the first three innings before the Eagles (0-2) threatened to score in the fourth.
Luke Luckenbaugh opened the inning with a single to left field and Hyman followed with a double to right-center field to put runners at second and third. But Kiple retired the next three batters to get out of the jam, including striking out the last two, Jackson Eaves and Justin Staub.
"My fastball was really working," Kiple said. "I was locating it well. My curveball and change-up were OK, but they were getting the job done."
Staub, a senior right-hander, replaced Hyman to start the fifth inning and Marrale, the second batter he faced, hit the ball over the center-field fence to give Century a 5-0 lead.
With one out in the sixth, Martin relieved Kiple and gave up one hit and struck out two. Century added five runs in the bottom of the sixth and Lapp highlighted the inning with a lead-off home run over the left-center field fence.
Hibbs, a junior shortstop, had three hits, scored three runs and drove in two.
"The had good timely hitting and they hit the pitches that we missed," said Francis Scott Key first-year coach Tim Warren, whose team hosts Century Friday night at 7 at Taneytown Memorial Park. "We had our opportunities, but we didn't come through. We will get better."