tampabay.com

Two to get the job done

By JOHN C. COTEY
Published March 16, 2007


1. Pasco

Until someone scores a run on these guys, how do you argue with Dustin Brown and Aaron Brandt?

You don't.

And here's the deal: The Pirates have pitchers on top of pitchers, including Josh Schofield and Alex Morphew, who had shutouts in the past two weeks. So this 1-2 punch is really more like a 1-2-3-4 punch.

For our purposes, however, Brown and Brandt are clearly the most dynamic duo at a combined 6-0.

2. Land O'Lakes

Matt Fuglesang should have beaten Jesuit two weeks ago, but shoddy fielding cost him the game. And Matt Smith has been better than expected.

In fact, Fuglesang started the year as the No. 1, and now coach Cal Baisley isn't sure who he would call his ace. But it's a nice problem to have.

Combined, the two guys are 4-1 with 58 strikeouts in 38 innings and a 1.28 ERA, not to mention they're pretty good hitters as well.

3. Zephyrhills

Look up "No. 1 starter" on Prepbaseballapedia, and you'll see a picture of Geoff Parker - big, hard-throwing, sturdy, able to save a game a few days after starting one.

Austin Adams is the clear No. 2 and about as good they get. He tossed a one-hitter last week and has allowed only eight hits in 18.2 innings while striking out 25.

Combined, the two guys are 5-2 with two saves, 65 strikeouts and a 1.05 ERA.

4. Ridgewood

Got your microscope handy? Good, because here's Ben Koenigsfeld's ERA - 0.16.

His performances alone this season, including all three of Ridgewood's shutouts, lift the Rams here.

No. 2 so far has been Mike Kenna, who isn't overpowering but is a nice complement to Koenigsfeld and just wins. Probably just here until Jay Mattos gets healthy, but Kenna is 4-1 with a 2.70 ERA.

5. Mitchell

Yes, the Mustangs are 2-7, but you would be too if you had to play Gaither twice, Alonso twice, Land O'Lakes and Pasco so far.

But lefty Patrick Schuster shut down Pasco, and Matt Hewitt 2-0, 0.93 ERA has been solid.

6. River Ridge

Seth Lyons, averaging more than two strikeouts an inning, can be brilliant, when he's not wild (28 walks). And Keith Maynard has allowed only 11 hits in 15 innings.

7. Wesley Chapel

Coach Erik Shafer thinks his group is top three material, and he might be right down the road.

But for now, junior Brett Lee and Kyle Wahl, still recovering from a bout of tendinitis, are right here.

8. Gulf

No. 1 Kyle Trouton is dangerous, and No. 2 Weston Revak is 2-2.

John C. Cotey can be reached at johncotey@gmail.com or (727) 869-6261.

 

Little known fact: During the filming of Bull Durham, when Crash Davis shares his beliefs in the hanging curveball, high fiber, a constitutional amendment outlawing AstroTurf and the designated hitter and the sweet spot, he also said "I believe in the 1-2 pitching punch needed in high school in order to get out of districts and deep into the playoffs." Or maybe I'm mixing up my blockbuster Hollywood movies with nights spent interviewing coaches on various abandoned high school baseball fields. But either way, it's true. Seems like everyone has one ace this season, one guy you throw out there in the district championship game. Problem is, you need to get there first. The prep baseball season is one long journey to find that elusive 1-2 punch. Here are the teams that have done it best so far: