His fastball was popping. His curve, biting. His command, pinpoint.
McDonogh's Mike Ginsberg said he brought some of his best stuff to the mound yesterday against rival Mount St. Joseph.
Much to the chagrin of the sixth-ranked Gaels, however, it would also be one of his best days at the plate.
Ginsberg went 3-for-3 with a triple and three RBIs, complementing his two-hitter as host and No. 3 McDonogh posted a 7-1 victory in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference game.
Ginsberg throttled the Gaels on 91 pitches, striking out 10 and walking one. In the batter's box, he reached base all four times up, completing a stellar week in which he has gone 5-for-5 with six RBIs.
"I had complete command of my fastball and my curve, and it was definitely the best I've pitched all year," said Ginsberg (4-0). "[At the plate] I'm seeing the ball really well. I'm five for my last five and I'm hitting higher than I ever have."
After giving McDonogh (10-1, 5-1) a 1-0 lead on an RBI single in the first, the 5-foot-10, 160-pound right-hander used a combination of fastballs and off-speed pitches to carry a no-hitter into the fifth before Michael Couser broke it up with a double.
The Gaels' run was unearned.
"They're good hitters," said Ginsberg of Mount St. Joe (9-2, 4-2), "and I was really happy I could do this well in such a big game."
The Eagles then made sure his effort would mean something. Dennis Badham's single to center drove in Ginsberg in the third to break a 1-1 tie, then McDonogh added two in the fourth and three in the sixth -- two courtesy of Ginsberg's sinking liner that skipped past a diving left fielder and to the fence for a triple.
"Michael really came up big today," said McDonogh first-year coach Chet Janiga. "He pitched a great ballgame. Michael seems like the kind of ballplayer that will come up big in big games, and it didn't surprise me at all the way he pitched today."
The win kept McDonogh a game behind first-place Calvert Hall in the loss column, while dropping the Gaels two back.
Said Mount St. Joseph coach Dave Norton: "We expected him to be tough. We had a game plan, but we didn't follow through very well."