Zac Gallen stuck with an old formula.
Mike Krusinski tried something new.
Both approaches worked to dramatic effect in Bishop Eustace's 4-0 victory over Cherry Hill West on Tuesday in an Olympic Conference National Division clash of Top 6 baseball teams.
Gallen, a senior righthander, pitched a four-hitter with seven strikeouts as the Crusaders snapped the Lions' 10-game winning streak and kept pace with division-leading Camden Catholic in the Olympic National race.
Krusinski, a junior leftfielder, snapped a 0-0 tie with a three-run triple on an 0-2 count with one out in the top of the seventh for Bishop Eustace (14-5 overall, 7-2 division), the No. 6 team in The Inquirer's South Jersey rankings.
Fifth-ranked Cherry Hill West (11-4, 6-3) used three pitchers to shut out Bishop Eustace through six innings, as seniors Brad Machinski (two innings, three hits, three strikeouts) and Brandon Perna (one inning, one hit, one strikeout) set the stage for sophomore Jeff Dixon, who had retired nine in a row entering the seventh.
"Brad didn't want to come out of the game, and Brandon didn't want to come out of the game," Cherry Hill West coach Dan McMaster said. "But they've thrown a lot and I want to save their arms. We have confidence in our pitching depth."
Bishop Eustace generated its first rally in the seventh as juniors Nick Browne and Dan Marano singled and junior Alex Hull walked to load the bases with one out.
That brought Krusinski to the plate.
"When I first got in the batter's box, I was thinking, 'Hit it hard somewhere,' " Krusinski said. "Then when I got in a hole [0-2 in the count], I changed my stance, got lower to just try and cover the plate.
"I fouled off a curveball, just trying to stay alive. I was hoping he would make a mistake, and he left one over the plate."
Krusinski drilled a liner to deep center field, scoring all three runners. He scampered home on a wild pitch for the final run.
Gallen said he threw "90 percent fastballs" in powering through Cherry Hill West's lineup. Of the Lions' four hits, only one left the infield.
"I just stuck with the basics," Gallen said. "I just went with the fastball inside."
Gallen faced just 24 batters. He recorded four of his strikeouts in the final three innings, and also received a lift from senior catcher Sam Steele, who threw out two would-be base-stealers.
The win was Bishop Eustace's second in a row after a stretch of four losses in five games.
"May's your time to be a team," Gallen said. "I think we're finding our groove."
Bishop Eustace 000 000 4 - 4 7 1
Cherry Hill West 000 000 0 - 0 4 1
WP: Zac Gallen. LP: Jeff Dixon. 2B: BE-Dan Morano. 3B: BE-Mike Krusinski.