The U.S. Postal Service has little on St. Paul's pitcher David Beach, who delivered from the mound yesterday despite a chilly rain and shifting winds.
The junior right-hander went the distance in a 4-1 victory over visiting 10th-ranked McDonogh, earning his second win in three starts in Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference baseball action.
"The weather doesn't bother me. I just love to play baseball, no matter how cold it is or whatever," said Beach, who threw a season-low 73 pitches and faced only five batters over the minimum.
"I had a pretty live fastball, with an occasional off-speed pitch to keep them honest. If they hit it, I relied on my defense to make the plays."
Beach played in front of a defense that committed only two errors, his two strikeouts coming against the first and last of the 26 batters he faced. Beach, who struck out the last batter looking with men on first and second base, yielded just three hits and a walk and hit one batter.
"They had pretty good third, fourth and fifth batters, so I had to mix it up when I saw them again," Beach said. "I'd maybe show fastball in the beginning of the count, then come back with a curve, and go back to the fastball."
Down 4-0 after a four-run second inning by St. Paul's, McDonogh's Jake Miller doubled off Beach to start the fourth inning and eventually scored on a fielder's choice. On the day, however, only three other runners got as far as second base against Beach, who also picked off David Ginsberg at first base after Ginsberg had reached on a fourth-inning single.
"We need to hit better, make better decisions at the plate. And on the bases, we made a couple of questionable plays," said coach Chet Janiga, whose Eagles (4-3, 0-3) have four league games next weekend. "Maybe next week, we can get on a roll. But it's tough to win when you only have three hits."
The Crusaders (8-3, 2-1) had eight hits, the best being Gordon Tarola's two-run single.
Chad Durakis went 3-for-3 and scored once to lead St. Paul's, followed by Brian Delmonte (1-for-3, one run) and Tommy Hermann (1-for-2, one run, one RBI). Beach and Steve Johnson also had hits.
"We're not a power-hitting team," Beach said. "We just kind of make contact, run the bases well, steal a couple of bases. We kind of do the little things."