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Inexperienced Mount Vernon Taking Lumps Early

Majors drop to 0-2 with loss to Washington-Lee.

Mount Vernon starting pitcher Justin Boutin took the mound on Tuesday despite recently having his wisdom teeth removed. The Majors’ projected starting catcher, Kyle Quigley, missed the game after receiving 10 stitches in the forehead from an inadvertent bat strike. Third baseman Logan Beougher, a 6-foot-4, 285-pound power hitter, was so frustrated by not getting any pitches to hit that he called the opposing team’s tactics "low."

Not much has gone right for the Mount Vernon baseball team during the infant stages of the 2011 season. The Majors dropped to 0-2 with an 11-0, five-inning loss to Washington-Lee on Tuesday. Mount Vernon lost its season opener against West Potomac, 15-6, on March 15.

Mount Vernon is feeling the loss of seniors Andrew Sable (shortstop), Mike Murdock (pitcher) and Jimmy Woehrle (pitcher) from the 2010 team that finished 17-6 and reached the regional tournament. The Majors are struggling in all facets of the game, but while hitting and defense are likely to improve through repetition, the team is still trying to establish on whom it can depend for pitching.

"Right now we’re kind of in a rebuilding process," head coach Luke Sable said after the loss to W-L. "We lost some key seniors and some of those seniors were our key pitchers and that’s what we’ve kind of struggled [with] so far. … We’ve got a really good group of young kids; it’s just a matter of making the plays."

Junior right-hander Boutin, seniors Collin Bowyer, Tre Cooke and junior David Lehner are starting pitching candidates, Sable said.

On Tuesday, Boutin allowed five hits and four earned runs while striking out three, walking three and hitting a batter in 3-plus innings.

"I felt I could have done better, but it’s the [second] game of the season," Boutin said. "I can recover from this and learn what I did wrong and work on that."

Offensively, the first three batters in Mount Vernon’s lineup hit from the left side. Sable said Bowyer, Boutin and senior Victor Lenske are good contact hitters and should give opponents trouble as the season continues. Beougher, a fullback and lineman on the school’s football team, is a big, strong right-handed hitter in the cleanup spot. After the game, he vented his frustration over being walked twice.

"Eight balls and zero strikes, that’s just low of them," Beougher said. "It’s even lower when we’re down by that many runs and still" nothing is in the strike zone.

Cooke and Pat Reamy are also likely to contribute offensively.

Mount Vernon will host Stuart at 7 p.m. on March 25. Beougher said the Majors "need to turn this around quick," a statement that has to do more with fixing team chemistry than improving talent.

"Skill is not as big of a problem as cohesiveness right now," he said. "Right now we need to work as a unit and trust each other and have each other’s backs more than we do right now. … [Adversity] brings out different sides in different people. It’s a real test of character from now on."