By Phil Stacey
---- — DANVERS — If pitching is generally ahead of hitting in the early stages of any high school baseball season, then Raffy Tylus happily followed along with that theory yesterday afternoon.
The senior righty spun a two-hitter with nine strikeouts while facing just one batter over the minimum to lead Danvers High to a home opening 4-0 victory over Lynn Classical at Twi-Field.
“It was good to get into a rhythm early during warmups, get a sweat going and come out strong,” said the 17-year-old hurler. “I was able to stay consistent, keep my pitch count down and use my secondary pitch good towards the end.”
Throwing a majority of first-pitch strikes and continually staying ahead of the Rams’ hitters, Tylus allowed only a second inning single to right by Andrew Moccia and a sixth inning single deep in the hole at shortstop by Brad Scuzzarella. Other than that he induced nine groundouts, one infield fly and two fly ball outs in addition to his nine punchouts, spotting a sneaky breaking pitch around a majority of fastballs.
“Raf pitched great,” said Danvers (2-0) head coach Roger Day. “He didn’t (issue) any walks and didn’t throw that many pitches (86), either. It was one of his better outings.”
The Falcons, who used a pair of first time starters on the diamond yesterday in first baseman Corey Crossley and third baseman Will Eary, played error-free ball behind Tylus. Smooth fielding sophomore shortstop Andrew Olszak handled four assists as well as one putout.
Offensively, Danvers did what Danvers always seems to do: find a way to get guys on base, get them into scoring position, then come up with big hits and opportune times.
Freshman catcher Matt Andreas came up with the big blow yesterday. A left-handed pull hitter, he went the other way with an offering from Classical left-hander Raymundo Gomez and sliced a double down the left-field line, scoring teammates Eddie Tylus and Eary for a 2-0 lead after two innings.
“Matt took a pitch on the outside part of the plate with two RBI and went the other way. Big hit right there,” said Day.
Andreas also had a strong game behind the dish, working well with Tylus and gunning down the Rams’ Moccia in the second inning.
“He sees the ball nice behind the plate and knows exactly where to spot up,” Tylus said. “Matt’s got a great arm.”
Danvers added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Olszak’s RBI single to right-center plated Devonn Allen and knocked Gomez from the game; Raffy Tylus promptly greeted reliever Brett Erelli with a sharp single to left, allowing leadoff hitter Richie Martino to scamper home.
Martino, Olszak, Andreas, Allen and the Tylus brothers all hit safely for the home team while Ryan Kelleher walked twice and stole a base (as did Olszak). Eight of the nine Danvers hitters reached base at least once.