Chase Brewis prefers his usual role, coming out of the bullpen and pitching an inning or two to close out another Riverdale Baptist victory. And the junior righthander, making just his second pitching start of the season, said he was uncomfortable on the mound Friday night at Prince George’s Stadium. On one would-be pitch, he slipped and kept the ball in his hand instead of releasing it.
From afar, though, the hard-throwing Brewis seemed in his own element. He struck out nine and allowed two hits in five innings and at the plate walked three times and scored twice to help the sixth-ranked Crusaders beat struggling DeMatha, 11-1, in a meeting of Prince George’s County perennial private school powers.
“You look at him and he looks about a buck-forty on the mound,” said Riverdale Coach Terry Terrill, who for the first year in 36 seasons in the dugout is without his trademark mustache. “But he has one of those live arms and has the velocity to be effective.”
Andrew Sharpe and Ryan Selmer singled twice while Matt Wildrick drove in a pair of runs for the Crusaders (23-2), who took advantage of several DeMatha miscues. A dropped fly ball with the bases loaded and two outs allowed three runs to score in the first inning as Riverdale took a 6-0 lead.
That was more than enough for Brewis, who lives in Linthicum and is home schooled, doing coursework online before heading to his Upper Marlboro school for baseball games or practices. It is his fourth season suiting up for Riverdale, having gotten into a handful of games as an eighth-grader.
Brewis, who said he usually throws his fastball in the upper 80s or low 90s, stranded two baserunners in the first and third innings and left the bases loaded in the fourth. In each of those innings, he ended the threat with a strikeout.
“It’s a whole different mindset [starting]. You have to come out there, throw strikes and you have to worry about pitch counts,” said Brewis, who is 3-0 with three saves. “I’d much rather be closing. I like the pressure and the pressure on batters.”
DeMatha fell to 1-12.
Proceeds from the game were donated to the ALS Association to benefit fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Ryan McGill pitched a five-hitter and Patrick Hisle had a pair of hits, including a two-out run-scoring single, as Whitman remained undefeated with a 2-1 victory at Quince Orchard on Friday in a meeting of top Montgomery County teams.
McGill walked just one and pitched out of trouble in the sixth and seventh after the leadoff batter reached in each inning.
Whitman (8-0) scored both of its runs in the second inning. Drew Aherne led off with a single and eventually moved to third base when McGill beat out a sacrifice bunt. Andrew Castagnetti grounded into a force play to score Aherne, Mike Yang walked and Hisle followed with his hit to make it 2-0.
“It was good coming back from [spring] break with Gaithersburg [an 8-2 victory on Wednesday] and these guys,” Whitman Coach Joe Cassidy said. “They’re two good programs and teams that beat us pretty bad the last two years. Guys were motivated to play Wednesday and today.”
Daniel Fishback pitched a four-hitter for Quince Orchard (8-2), which saw its eight-game winning streak come to an end.