The Digital Harbor Rams set the pace for Baltimore City Baseball, Tuesday afternoon, downing the Poly Engineers in a battle of the City’s elite clubs, 10-3.

“We really just needed to come out and play our game,” Rams’ coach Dave Verdi said.  “We have a pretty good club this year.  We did what we needed to do and got this one.”

As the bats awoken in the fifth inning, the Rams scored three runs with the driving power of Eli Winston and his double down the left-field line, scoring teammates Mike Corn and Alex Welch, just one batter after Welch sent a single to center to score Mike Payne from second for a 4-1 lead.

“I am always trying to get the extra base and just trying to score,” Winston said, who leads-off for the Rams.  “So I was just trying to get the lead and trying to score.”

Winston finished the game going two-for-four, driving in two runs with a double, a walk and stealing twice.

Digital Harbor kept on the offensive in the final three innings, scoring five runs to the Engineers’ two, with RBIs going to Payne and Matt Keil in the fifth, Payne again in the sixth, and rounding out with Zach Shifler driving in two runs in the seventh.

Payne finished the game with a three-for-four performance at the dish, scoring twice while driving in two runs, as Keil proved his substitution by manager Verdi’s successful by posting an RBI-triple to left field in his first at-bat.

“It was great,” Payne said of his performance.  “I was just trying to put the bat on the ball and just make contact to provide for my team.”

All the while the Rams racked up the runs, starting pitcher Welch was keeping Poly on the pine, accruing 11 strike-outs in his complete game win while walking just two batters.

“I would say I started off slow and wasn’t used to pitching off the mound,” Payne explained.  “But come the third or fourth inning, I really sank into my groove and it was more about keeping them off balance.”

The Rams were first to get on the board, seeing a Nathan Pitts double drive in lead-off batter Winston, but were matched in the bottom of the inning for a 1-1 score.

Poly ended the day with three runs, scoring two more times in the sixth inning by the bat of Shawn Henson and the feet of Jordan Garrison.

Garrison finished his day three-for-four, scoring once and stealing one base.

“We didn’t play very well,” Poly manager Corey Goodwin explained.  “We made a lot of mental errors and gave them too many chances.  The season just started.  It is game one.

“We have a long way to go and the good thing about baseball is that we play tomorrow, so we get to forget about this one and move on.  It is going to come down to these two teams and we are going to see them again.  It can’t come soon enough.”

Poly will see Digital harbor again on April 6, but the Rams hope to wreak havoc on their other opponents before the next round-up with the Engineers.

“We just have to keep working hard.  It is just a matter of showing up day to day and putting in the work,” Verdi said.  “If we keep doing the little things to get ourselves on and move people around, play good defense and get good pitching, which we have, we should be alright.”

Poly’s next game will come against City College, Wednesday, while Digital harbor hosts Northwestern the same afternoon.

Digital Harbor 10, Poly 3

DH        1 0 0   3 2 2   2  —  10  13  3
POLY   1 0 0   0 0 2   0  —    3    8  4