Windsor#8217;s arms ran deep into the baseball playoffs

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 9, 2008

WINDSOR—The 1971 Baltimore Orioles, considered to be one of the best pitching teams in the history of baseball, had four 20 game winners.

While manager Earl Weaver had four starters he could put on the mound and not worry about, Windsor High School’s Bruce Carroll has the same luxury, only on a smaller scale.

Windsor’s pitching staff — Brett Vaughan, Chris Horne, Anthony Cruz and Jeff Myers — were a major reason the Dukes reached the second round of the Group A, Region A second round.

All had different styles on the mound, but they also shared something: Carroll used any one of them without blinking an eye.

“I am comfortable with any of them. Any time we need an inning, we’ve got no problem getting it from these guys,” Carroll said after a win late in the season.

Horne turned his herky-jerky, twisted delivery into a three-hit, 13 strikeout performance over Northampton late in the season.

“He’s so awkward in his motion. I’m not sure how he throws strikes,” Carroll joked at the time. “When he really rears back, he snaps his head back. It would hurt me, but he’s OK with it.”

Carroll worked with Cruz and Vaughan after a game in anticipation of both of them working in the aTri-Ricvers playoff game two days later.

The coach pointed to Cruz. “This kid has no idea where it’s going, so it scares batters to death,” he said with a smile. “Honestly, he scares people. Not too many people are going to get in the batter’s box and be comfortable. With all due respect, he’s had one or two

get away from him. But then he’ll come back and locate and throw strikes.”

Vaughan is the lefty of the bunch. Carroll described Myers as “a pitcher. He’s going to locate you.”

All four complement each other, both on the mound and out on the field. Carroll described his pitching set up in a win over Rappahannock High School earlier this season. Myers started the game and left after four innings with a 5-1 lead. Vaughan pitched three outs and Horne closed the sixth and seventh innings.

“Anytime we can show a new face in the game, when he’s different, we are going to do it.”

The players can also be interchanged with each other because of the positions they play in the field. Horne and Myers are both infielders. Vaughan and Cruz both play centerfield. “I can swap and not change but one position for the most part,” Carroll said.

Windsor’s pitching tradition is born out of the little league program sponsored by the Windsor Athletic Association, just a few miles down the road. Carroll said the association has always done a great job of bringing players up through the ranks.

“Baseball has always been important to them. They start the kids playing young so they are baseball smart when they get here and we can fine tune them,” Carroll said.