When Parkville coach Jeff Markle replaced starter Steve Wagner with All-Metro hurler Larry Reaves in the fourth inning of yesterday's game at No. 16 Towson, it looked like a pretty good move.
There were two outs and runners on first and second base after Wagner had issued his third walk of the day against as many hits. The situation seemed rather harmless considering Markle's No. 8 Knights were up by a run when the hard-throwing Reaves, an earlier shutout winner against the Generals, took the mound.
Suddenly, however, what seemed like a hot idea went as cold as yesterday's numbing temperatures.
A couple of errors and aggressive base running led to three Towson runs in the fourth inning of an eventual 5-1 victory for the Generals (9-2, 7-2 in Baltimore County's Central Division). Parkville dropped to (7-4, 5-4).
After Reaves (4-1) loaded the bases by walking Josh Beck -- who walked in all four at-bats, scoring twice -- third baseman Greg DePalma mishandled a grounder by Towson's Fred Metschulat and then overthrew first base, allowing Andrew Simmons and Mike Burns to score.
"Greg's new at third," Markle said, "but I don't know why he threw it. He's a good fielder who usually makes those plays."
Towson wasn't done yet. Metschulat, trying to steal second, attracted the attention of Parkville's defense. As Parkville was busy running down Metschulat, Beck came home with Towson's third run.
"Those errors hurt their morale a little, so coach [Bill] Yosca gave me the steal sign, which I think caught them off guard," said Metschulat.
"After losing to Loch Raven [5-4 on Monday,] we were pumped up," said Metschulat, whose squad rebounded with Wednesday's double-header victory against Overlea.
Emerson Stewart and Brian Cuthrell padded Towson's lead with consecutive RBI singles in the sixth inning.
Towson right-hander Tommy Moore (1-0), coming off an arm injury, finished with six strikeouts against four walks and three hits after an inauspicious beginning. The 6-foot-4, 175-pound junior yielded two walks and an RBI single by Wagner in the first inning.
"I went with mainly fastballs, a curve and a changeup, but the curve was working the most for me today," said Moore, whose teammates had six hits yesterday. "I was nervous at first, but that went away after the first inning."
Poor base running sabotaged Monday's 12-hit effort by the Generals against Loch Raven. And until yesterday's fourth inning, it appeared the Generals -- having stranded five runners in the first three innings -- would fall again.
"We worked on a lot of things after Loch Raven, especially base running," said Metschulat.
Pub Date: 4/19/97