River Hill 9, Long Reach 3
Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
There weren't any scouts charting his pitches or focusing a radar gun on the fastballs he unleashed, but senior Kevin Marrie produced nonetheless in River Hill's 9-3 Howard County win over Long Reach Friday in Columbia.
This time, the 6-foot-5 right-hander -- who earned the win against Howard on Monday -- did it at the plate. He broke open a 3-3 game in the top of the third with a three-run double, and finished 1 for 2 with four RBI in his debut at designated hitter.
"Last year I didn't really hit but he [Coach Rick Lloyd] has seen me hitting in batting practice and I have been hitting pretty good, so he put me in the lineup," said Marrie, who has signed to attend Coastal Carolina. "I have always been able to stroke the ball pretty good in BP, so why not."
Lloyd, whose Hawks hit .261 last season, figured he would give anything a try to jump-start the offense, and it hasn't just been Marrie getting his cuts in.
River Hill (2-0, 2-0 Howard County) banged out 11 hits to beat the Lightning at its own game, taking a 7-3 lead after three innings. Sophomore Dave Walters, senior Bryan Bednarczyk and junior Mike Clements each had two hits.
The Lightning (0-3, 0-2) scored three runs in the first thanks to two River Hill errors and an RBI double by junior Scott Peddicord, but senior left-hander Mike Anton calmed down after the rocky start. He retired nine straight at one point, struck out nine, and didn't allow another hit before yielding to Clements after 88 pitches with two outs in the bottom of the fifth.
"Anton threw pitches where you could have told us what was coming and you couldn't have hit it anyway," said Long Reach Coach Tim O'Brien, whose team has struggled early this season after reaching the Maryland 3A East Region championship last year.
Lloyd expects that much from Anton, and from the county's deepest pitching staff. It's the team's offense that concerned him starting the season, and has him excited a week in.
"It's a real well-rounded team." Lloyd said. "I think by the end of the season we will be as solid as anybody in the state as far as offense, pitching and defense."