"Alarming" is how Calvert Hall coach Joe Binder described the powerful bats of ninth-ranked Mount St. Joseph's baseball team after losing, 7-6, yesterday.
The Gaels (2-0 overall and conference) have made mincemeat out of nearly everything six different pitchers have thrown at them. They've garnered 25 hits, including 15 in a season-opening 15-0 rout of then No. 8 Cardinal Gibbons.
Mount St. Joseph had 10 more hits in yesterday's Maryland Scholastic Association Armstrong Conference A contest with the third-ranked Cardinals (3-1, 1-1).
Left fielder Dominic Steward's two-out, full-count home run and first baseman Tim Trotta's 345-foot three-run home run, both off Cardinals' starter Larry Marino, gave the Gaels a 4-0 first-inning lead.
The Gaels added three runs against left-hander Andy Bair (65 pitches), who allowed six hits with four strikeouts, before finally being silenced by All-Metro ace Brian Matz, who struck out four with no hits and three walks.
"They had some excellent shots early in the game," said Binder, whose Cardinals were four-time champs before being dethroned last year by McDonogh. "I always look for a tough game against St. Joe's."
It was certainly tough on Marino, who is being recruited by four Division I programs. He was replaced by Bair in the second inning after hitting the eighth batter he faced.
It was 6-0 after two innings as right fielder Matt Neighoff, who is 5-for-6 this season, knocked in Robbie Blaylock.
Paul Barabasz put the Cardinals on the board with his run-scoring double in the third.
But the Gaels made it 7-1 in the bottom of the inning as a high-chopper by Jobe West scored Steve Matcuk, who went 3-for-4 and scored twice.
The defense, as much as hitting, impressed coach Dave Norton after his Gaels nearly lost their early leads.
"We had two opportunities where the bases were loaded and we could have blown the game open," said Norton. "That part was a little shaky."
Run-scoring singles by Jason Dean and Rob German brought Calvert Hall within 7-3 in the fourth, before second baseman Blaylock fielded a Liam Healy shot and threw to catcher Dave White, who tagged out Dean.
Marino's fifth-inning single made it, 7-4, and Dean knocked in Matz in the sixth to make it 7-5.
Calvert Hall twice had the tying runs on base in the final inning after Josh Itzoe scored on a Barabasz single, but both times runners were cut down at the plate.
Matcuk threw out Barabasz after fielding a shot by Marino and center fielder Brett Evans threw out Marino.
Daniels (89 pitches, five runs) survived for 6 1/3 innings before Trotta (1-0) relieved him.
"We tried to keep the batters off balance with Ben's slider and mostly his fastball," said White. "He had nice location and did a nice job overall."