The 54-game winning streak of Bowie High School's baseball team ended yesterday the same way it started three years ago, against Eleanor Roosevelt. Paul Sterling limited the Bulldogs to two hits and had a two-run single as Roosevelt scored all its runs in the seventh inning of a 4-0 victory at Bowie.
The losing pitcher in the Prince George's County AA League game was senior David Vaughan, who is now 20-1 in his career at Bowie. He beat Roosevelt, 13-0, in last year's state playoffs.
"We were hitting the ball well, but we couldn't score," said Sterling (5-0), who threw only 80 pitches while striking out eight batters. "I told them in the last inning all I needed was one run. We got four, which was even better."
The Raiders are now 12-0 and have not lost since Bowie eliminated them in the playoffs last season. Bowie (10-1) had been averaging 13 hits and nine runs per game this season.
Bowie Coach Bumps Vaughan, who is not related to his pitcher and whose teams had not been shut out in years, said, "It's bound to happen. We'll just have to start another streak. We'll see them (Roosevelt) again in a couple of weeks."
Roosevelt Coach Marvin Whitaker has seven starters back from last year's 15-3 team that lost twice to Bowie, and he had no trouble motivating his team for yesterday's game. "I reminded the kids before the game that Bowie started the streak against us (10-8)," he said. "And (David) Vaughan beat us last year in the playoffs, 13-0. I said, 'That's it. The buck stops here.' "
Over the first six innings yesterday, Sterling and Vaughan quickly retired most batters. Bowie, hitting well over .400 as a team, had one scratch hit (by Carl Smith in the sixth); Roosevelt had five singles, twice getting runners on first and second, but failed to score.
Roosevelt went to the bunt in the seventh and final inning.
Leadoff batter Chris Pettit reached second on a throwing error by Bowie third baseman Mark Freeman. Roosevelt's Theron Todd laid down a nice bunt that Vaughan fielded, but the pitcher looked to third before throwing too late to first.
"We knew right then they would try a squeeze," said Vaughan (5-1), "But there was nothing we could do about it."
He was right. Spencer Crispell's squeeze was fielded by Vaughan, who threw low to catcher Wayne Culley as Pettit slid across the plate for the first run.
Todd and Crispell moved to second and third on the play. David King also bunted and reached first when diving first baseman Jimmy Terrill could not quite reach the ball. Todd scored on the play and Roosevelt led, 2-0.
"We thought one run would be good enough, but then they threw the ball away a couple of times, allowing us to get a couple of more (runs)," Whitaker said. "We were bunting pretty good, so I said let's try it again."
John McDonald tapped to the box for the first out, but Vaughan then walked Mike Schultz to load the bases. Tom Moreland's two-strike attempted squeeze rolled foul for the second out. Sterling then hit the first pitch through a drawn-in infield to make the score 4-0.
Bowie put runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but Sterling threw Terrill a high knuckle ball that Roosevelt quickly converted into a double play to end the game.