Junk-ball pitcher Bennett Donovan put down a final-inning rally yesterday and St. Albans beat Episcopal, 4-2, to clinch its sixth straight Interstate Athletic Conference baseball title.
Coach Bob Brown of St. Albans said Donovan "throws absolutely nothing, but he gets people out."
Donovan relieved starter Carter Steuart in the last inning of the seven-inning game at St. Albans and made the Bulldogs' two sixth-inning runs stand up.
St. Albans is 15-2 overall and 10-1 in the league. Episcopal, the only other team that had had a chance to win the title, fell to 13-4 overall and 7-3 in the conference.
"We wanted to win this one here and not take a chance on beating Episcopal at Episcopal (Tuesday)," said Brown, who got a gooey postgame lemon meringue pie in the face by way of celebration.
"Carter has had a few problems and struggled a little bit out there. We were only going to pitch him four innings, but he showed a lot of class and almost finished. He got in a little trouble and we brought in our little left-hander . . ."
Steuart (6-0), a junior right-hander, got the first two batters in the seventh, then walked his fourth and fifth men of the game to put runners at first and second. Brown called in Donovan (5-2, three saves) to pitch to Leigh Pell.
Pell had given Steuart no problems. Donovan fed him two teasing curve balls that were fouled off. An offspeed pitch was popped high in the air, and first baseman Bill Mohler caught it in foul territory to end the game.
Episcopal had gone ahead, 2-0, in the second inning. St. Albans, held to two hits through four innings by hard-throwing Patrick Rand (9-3), parlayed two singles, two walks and a wild pitch into a tie in the fifth.
Mohler opened the home sixth with a walk. Bob Asher was hit by a pitch and Charlie Johnson reached on an error. David Badd blooped a single to left for the eventual winning run. John Valenti then singled for a 4-2 lead.