WEST ROXBURY, Mass. -- One by one, the radar guns of the half-dozen major league scouts behind the backstop at Catholic Memorial's baseball field clicked with each toss by the Knights' Boston College-bound potential draft pick, senior righthander John Gorman. And when the side had retired, and Boston College High's Don Murray took to the hill, the guns went right back into their bags.
"Their arms probably got tired," cracked the senior righthander.
Their eyes were no doubt satisfied, having seen Gorman two-hit the Eagles through eight innings, fanning 12 and allowing one earned run in nearly 130 pitches, with a fastball touching 85 to 89 miles per hour with regularity. But just as stifling was the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Murray; he silenced the middle of the No. 1 Knights' order, giving way to Jake Ohanesian's heroics in the top of the ninth, as the Eagles downed their Catholic Conference archrivals, 3-1.
BC High improved to 5-1, while CM lost its first game of the season and fell to 6-1.
It was another solid outing for the senior Murray, who has now fanned 20 batters in the last 14 innings. He struck out 12 in an April 11 win over Malden Catholic; in both games, he threw more than 120 pitches.
"Donny throwing an amazing game definitely keeps us in it," Ohanesian said of Murray, who allowed four hits and a run. "Throwing eight innings out there, well over 100 pitches, that kid just stays out there and battles. That definitely...having a great starting pitcher, definitely gives us that boost."
And in the top of the ninth, the 5-foot-8 outfielder made good on that boost with a frozen rope through the far left that just squeaked fair. Paul Fahey came on in relief of Gorman to start the inning, sending the senior to third; his first batter, Bobby Melley, smacked a 1-2 pitch to shallow left that just brisked the webbing of Gorman's webbing.
Two at bats later, with one out, junior Justin Silvestro was the beneficiary of a close call, as he appeared to have come far enough around on his swing for a third strike, but was ruled hit by a pitch. After some protest, Silvestro was awarded first base.
The very next at bat, Ohanesian hit a rocket, turning it into a double and clearing the bases for the 3-1 lead.
"I was hoping it wouldn't go foul, because it landed right on the line," Ohanesian smiled. "I was just praying the ball would bounce and stay fair."
Sophomore Ryan Tufts then came on in the bottom of the ninth in relief of Murray. The Knights put a man on second with a double, but were unable to complete the rally, to give Tufts the win.
And so while another solid Gorman effort came down as a no-decision, there was no shortage of praise all around for the Knights' ace. All afternoon, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Norwood resident kept the Eagles hitters on their toes by mixing in his clever curve with his high-80's fastball, alternately jamming righties and making lefties reach -- and vice-versa.
"That kid just picks corners like it's his job," Ohanesian said of Gorman. "Awesome, awesome knuckle-curve. Outside corners, he's just good at picking there, and umpires these days give you a couple inches but he's spot-on almost every time. The thing with his curveball, that's a hard one you've got to fight off, and you can't give up on it or he'll ring you up easy."
Said CM head coach Hal Carey, "He's just a very good high school pitcher, who's going to be a good college pitcher. He works fast, throws strikes, has command of more than one pitch. That's a good hitting team he faced, and to hold them to three or four hits, whatever they got, and one run off him, is a great job."