Posted: 8:17 am Friday, April 15th, 2011
By Matt Porter
Pitching is everything in the playoffs. If Jupiter keeps getting results like this, they’re going to bring some hardware home to North County.
Ryan Harris threw a complete-game shutout and the Warriors (16-5, No. 3 in the Post) beat Parkland-Douglas 1-0 at Roger Dean Stadium.
Harris, a Florida commit, allowed three hits to Douglas (16-2), ranked No. 7 nationally by ESPN and No. 9 by MaxPreps. He struck out four.
“Ryan was outstanding,” Jupiter coach Doug Ferguson said. “He’s starting to mix it up a little more, throw his offspeed pitches for strikes. And we’re playing great defense behind him.”
Ronnie Healy’s RBI single in the top of the sixth stood up as the game’s only run.
It was the second consecutive complete-game shutout for Harris (5-2), who allowed 1 hit and needed just 76 pitches for a 2-0 win against Dwyer April 6. He came into the game with a 0.49 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 49.1 innings.
As good as Harris has been, co-ace Calvin Greener (6-0, 0.49, 56 strikeouts in 42.2 innings) has matched him. Greener, a Palm Beach State commit, helped the Warriors through last season while Harris was recovering from surgery to remove a bone spur in the elbow of his throwing arm.
Jupiter also has an excellent center fielder in J.J. Crespo, who has tons of range and is batting .443. They’ve needed him to be the glue in an outfield that’s missed two starting seniors: left fielder and Citadel commit Connor Walsh, who has battled stress fractures in his leg, and right fielder Justin Bailey, who may be done for the season with an ankle injury. The Warriors are also counting on fill-ins at first base, second base and shortstop.
That makes pitching all the more important.
Greener will pitch at No. 7 Palm Beach Gardens tonight. A win guarantees the Warriors the top seed in District 9-6A tournament. A loss puts them at No. 2, with Palm Beach Central taking over No. 1.
When local baseball watchers throw out names of the area’s top pitchers, and your team has two of them, you’re in pretty good shape. That’s how it is for Jupiter, and the timing couldn’t be better.