FREDERICK -- Textbook baseball.
Westminster co-coaches Carl Rihard and Guy Stull preach it every day, and this season the Owls are going out every game and executing to perfection.
Yesterday, unbeaten Westminster (5-0) did all the little things right against traditionally strong Thomas Johnson and walked off the field with a surprisingly easy 9-1 victory in a Central Maryland Conference game at Thomas Johnson.
The 13th-ranked Owls hit behind runners, stole bases, played errorless baseball, and received five shutout innings from starting pitcher Mike Peters to run their CMC record to 2-0 and drop TJ to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the league.
Peters allowed only two hits in five innings, struck out seven, walked just two and left with a 9-0 lead.
The junior right-hander also delivered a two-run single to right field in the second to top off a six-run inning.
Peters wanted to stay in the game for a chance to shut out the Patriots, but Rihard opted to go with Andy Marsiglia the last two innings.
"TJ is a real good team and they have a lineup of strong hitters," said Peters. "It would have been nice to shut them out. I have to credit my defense for playing well behind me. I got my curveball and slider working the last few innings but I still don't think I'm where I want to be yet."
Marsiglia was touched for one hit and one run in the final two innings, with Chris Paolini driving in the lone run of the game for TJ with a wind-blown sacrifice fly to short right in the seventh.
Rihard said he took Peters out to save him for a possible appearance Friday against North Carroll, one of three games for Westminster this week.
Westminster scored the six runs in the second after two were out, stringing together three straight walks and three straight hits.
Denny Bowers opened the inning with a single to center for the Owls but it looked as if he were going to be stranded when B. J. Hanley and Kevin Warfield were retired on pop-ups.
However, Eric Wyatt suddenly lost his control and walked three straight hitters to force home the first run of the game.
Then Paul Reter followed with a run-scoring single to left to make it 2-0 with the bases still loaded. Ryan Starliper then bounced a two-run single to left and went to second on the throw home, and Peters came through with his two-run single to run the lead to 6-0.
The Owls added two more in the third on Brian Tozer's run-scoring single and R. D. Larkin's groundout, and the winners added their final run in the fifth on a throwing error by Wyatt, who came back into the game to pitch at the start of the fourth inning after being knocked out in the second.
Stull said: "We got a well-pitched game from Peters, we swung the bat well and the defense played well. That's all it takes to win."
TJ coach Jim Foit said: "Anytime you give a team like Westminster an opportunity like three straight walks, they're going to take advantage of it."
* Calvert Hall 3, McDonogh 0: Calvert Hall left-hander Andy Bair tossed a one-hitter and struck out 12 as the top-ranked Cardinals (6-0, 1-0) downed visiting and No. 2 McDonogh (6-1, 1-1) in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Conference A Conference game.