When Mount St. Joseph coach Dave Norton studied his potential lineup this past off-season, he came to three conclusions. The Gaels would have above-average pitching, solid fielding and not much else.
"I thought we would have to manufacture a lot of runs," said Norton.
At the rate they're going, the top-ranked Gaels are on a pace to do a lot of manufacturing. With yesterday's 15-5, six-inning win over visiting No. 12 Gilman, the team that looked to be filled with slap hitters is averaging 10.2 runs a game.
After committing four early errors against the Greyhounds, and falling behind by two runs, St. Joe (9-0 overall, 5-0 in the MIAA A Conference) rallied for nine runs in three innings off starter Frank McHenry. This came on the heels of Monday's win against St. Paul's in which the Gaels scored eight in the first three.
"This is unusual for us -- our game is supposed to be pitching and defense," said Norton. "I didn't expect this. I didn't think we'd hit the ball as well as we have."
It's been more than just a couple of players getting into the act. Everyone in the lineup has contributed, especially in the one through six slots. Even when teams choose to pitch around second-team All-Metro infielder Mark Teixeira, Norton said Nos. 4 and 5 hitters Eric Watts and Michael Floyd have picked up the slack.
All three produced yesterday, as Teixeira had an RBI double and two walks, Watts went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Floyd had a single and a three-run triple.
"We've just been getting it done," said Teixeira. "Everyone through nine has been coming through. We've been pretty consistent at hitting the ball."
Gilman (7-2, 3-2) hurt its cause, giving up eight walks and committing four errors. Six Mount St. Joseph hitters reached base at least twice, and all but two starters either scored or drove in a run.
Dan Warner picked up the victory, recovering from a shaky beginning to go the distance.
Pub Date: 4/09/97