When Ryan Terry transferred to Harry S Truman High, he brought a heavy bat and a certain swagger.
He did not, however, come equipped with a golden arm.
And yet he took the hill for the Tigers in yesterday's all-important baseball clash with Pennsbury. You can add team player to the Terry characteristics.
"Pitcher is probably his fourth position," Truman coach Jeff Vitale said. "But he's a baseball kid."
The baseball kid was pelted on the mound, but he also delivered two clutch RBI doubles as Truman rallied to beat Pennsbury, 9-7, in a battle of neighbors and Suburban One League National Conference foes.
With the win, the Tigers kept pace with conference leader Pennridge, which beat North Penn, 5-3, yesterday. Truman is 8-3 in the league (12-4 overall), Pennridge is 7-2, and Pennsbury fell to 6-3 (8-4 overall).
Even if the Tigers fail to clinch the National Conference, they are positioning themselves for a first-round home game in the PIAA District 1 playoffs. With a senior-laden club, the success may have been expected. But Terry, who came over from Conwell-Egan, has given Truman a decided edge.
"I try not to compare all the teams I've been on," Terry said. "But we have a good nucleus here."
Last year at third base, Terry was an integral part of Conwell-Egan's first Catholic League championship squad in 38 years. For various reasons, he and Conwell-Egan parted before his senior year. Terry, who accepted a scholarship offer from Monmouth in November, prefers to look ahead.
"Ryan's been a godsend," Vitale said. "The kids look up to him. They know they can look at Terry as someone who's been there and knows what it takes to win."
They also can look to the solidly built Terry for his confidence. After getting swatted for four runs in the second inning, he put the Tigers on the board with an RBI double in the top of the third. In the fourth, he delivered the go-ahead runs on a two-RBI double as Truman surged ahead, 6-5.
Another run gave Truman a 7-5 lead, but Pennsbury knotted the score when Nick Curci's bloop single scored two Falcons in the bottom of the fourth. Terry finished the inning, but that was it and he moved to center field, position No. 3 in preference.
"Usually I'm pretty good at throwing strikes," said Terry, who also catches. "Not today."
Perhaps following Terry's lead, Kyree Ransome (2 for 4) delivered the Tigers' big blow in the fifth. The junior outfielder hopped on the home-run train - Pennsbury had early dingers from Mike Albert and Steve Perry - and jacked a two-run shot to left field for the winning runs.
James Brown, who relieved Terry, tossed three scoreless innings for the win. A key moment came in the sixth after Brown had pegged a batter with only one out.
But a strikeout and a pickoff-throw double play to first from catcher John Barrington ended any threat.
Terry, meanwhile, is digging into his bag for a district title.
"I'm not sure if anyone has won both PCL and district championships," Terry said. "If it happens, it would be sweet. But first things first."
Harry S Truman001 620 0 - 9 12 1
Pennsbury041 200 0 - 7 8 3
WP: James Brown. LP: Kyle McAdams. 2B: HST–Ryan Terry 2, Kyree Ransome. P–Mike Decembrino, Anthony Lawrence. HR: HST–Ransome. P–Mike Albert, Steve Perry.