Kenny Konopacki's grand slam in the top of the seventh vaulted visiting and No. 6 Calvert Hall to a 6-5 victory over No. 3 Mount St. Joseph yesterday in a Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference game.
Down 5-0 to start the inning, the Cardinals cut the deficit to 5-2 and loaded the bases. After fouling off four straight pitches, Konopacki hit Ryan Clark's 2-2 fastball over the left-field fence to give Calvert Hall the lead and set off a wild celebration at home plate.
"He tried to sneak a fastball by me, and I teed it," said Konopacki of his eighth home run of the season. "As soon as I hit it, I raised my hands up and I knew it was gone. It was just the biggest high ever."
Despite the loss, the Gaels (18-3, 11-2) remain in first place in the conference by virtue of the league's third tie-breaker -- runs allowed. With one game left, St. Joe has allowed 14 fewer runs than Calvert Hall (22-7, 11-2), almost assuring it the regular-season league title.
For six innings, St. Joe pitcher Eric Hall shut out the Cardinals, allowing three singles and striking out six. Late in the game, however, he tired and allowed five walks in his final two innings before being pulled for Clark in the seventh.
With two on and none out, Clark allowed a single to Andy Mulherin to drive in the first run, then walks to Adam Eagan and Mike Hemling sandwiched around a sacrifice fly by Dave Pitz, making it 5-2.