Heroics are nothing new for Calvert Hall's Kenny Konopacki.
After hitting a game-winning grand slam against Mount St. Joseph last week, the Cardinals catcher struck again in the seventh inning of yesterday's Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference playoff game against Archbishop Curley, doubling in the tying run in Calvert Hall's 3-2 win.
"There was no pressure at all," said Konopacki, who was on second when Larry Marino drew a walk two batters later to force in the winning run. "I just came up there ready to swing. He pretty much hung [a curveball] up, and I was able to get into it."
The second-seeded Cardinals (23-8) travel to St. Joe today at 3:45 for a rematch with the top-seeded Gaels, 8-0 winners over fourth-seeded McDonogh. Both teams are 1-0 in this double-elimination tournament for the conference championship.
The winner of today's game has a day off tomorrow, while the loser plays the winner of today's game between McDonogh and Curley. In the championship round, the winner of that game plays the winner of the Calvert Hall-St. Joe game Thursday at Towson State.
Calvert Hall, behind, 2-0, scored a run in the sixth when Friars pitcher Brian Bowen, who had been sharp through five innings, forced in a run by walking Joe McIlhenney with the bases loaded. He had walked Adam Eagan and Konopacki, and hit Marino with a curve to load the bases.
In the seventh, after two quick outs, Eagan started a string of five straight Cardinals hitters reaching base with a single to left. Mike Hemling followed with a single to right to put runners on first and third, and Konopacki scored Eagan with a double down the left-field line to tie the game at 2.
Bowen then walked Brian Matz to load the bases and went to a 3-1 count before walking Marino on a high fastball for the winning run.