Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Who needs contact? Not Post 295

Friday, June 26, 2009 by John Y. Wehmueller Staff Writer

Gaithersburg beats Post 171 10-1 Thursday with strikeouts, walks

When Gaithersburg Post 295 manager Rick Price told him to "get a grip," left-handed pitcher/catcher Gary Schneider listened.

At Price's suggestion, Schneider changed the grip on his two-seam fastball at the beginning of the American Legion baseball season. He used it to great effect Thursday, striking out 10 Damascus

Post 171 batters over five innings in a 10-1 win at Quince Orchard High.

"Coach Price taught it to me about two weeks ago," Schneider said. "Basically, I was holding the ball too hard, and I wasn't getting any movement on it. I loosened my grip, and obviously, it moves a lot now."

Schneider allowed a lone unearned run in the top of the second. With one in, none out and the bases loaded, he worked out of the jam, inducing a shallow pop fly to right before striking out the last two batters of the inning.

He capped his performance by striking out the side, all swinging, in the top of the fifth inning before moving behind the plate for the final two frames. His offense backed him up with patience, patience and more patience.

Post 295 worked seven walks, including the game's first three batters. Catcher John Krahling walked twice and scored twice, the second by proxy thanks to courtesy runner Kyle Skellchock.
Daniel Young reached base in each of his three plate appearances and scored twice. The second time, Spencer Pearman drove him in with a home run over the right field fence for two of his three runs batted in on the day.

Pearman's home run capped a three-run fourth inning that made it 6-1. Post 295 added two insurance runs each in the fifth and sixth frames.

Post 171 matched Gaitherburg's hit total of seven, three courtesy of catcher/pitcher Andrew Osborne. But all seven were singles. Osborne scored the run after singling to lead off the second, moving station-to-station on an Anthony Papio single, a Gary Mullings walk and an error.

Post 295 heads to New York for a tournament this weekend, still in search of its 2008 mojo. Schneider was one of many players to miss time earlier this summer — he made a pilgrimage to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. — but there is still time to come together and defend their state championship.

"That's kind of been the gist of the season; we're trying to punch it back up," Schneider said.

"Last season we got into a rhythm early. But this is still a good team."

Note: Earlier in the day, Post 295 finished a rain-delayed win over Post 171, 12-0.

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