No. 2-ranked Calvert Hall made short work of St. Paul's yesterday, breezing to a 14-3, five-inning victory to claim another Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference vTC championship -- the team's eighth in the past 10 seasons.
One day after battering No. 5 Mount St. Joseph in a game shortened by the 10-run mercy rule, No. 20 St. Paul's got similar rough treatment from the Cardinals (29-5) at Essex Community College.
The happy Cardinals celebrated by emptying the contents of their water jug on 18-year coach Joe Binder.
Binder's Cardinals erred just once yesterday and tagged two pitchers for 12 hits. It was 5-0 after one inning, as Rob Stastny (2-for-2, three runs scored) smashed a two-run home run over the left field fence.
The Cardinals then sent 11 batters to the plate during a four-hit, four-run second-inning, after which they led, 9-0.
Dale Berkey (1-for-3, one run scored) and Mike Wineke (2-for-3, two runs) each crunched two-run singles. And Greg DeBoy (2-for-2, with a walk) smacked the first of a pair of two-run doubles.
Nick Hammonds (three RBIs) and Shane Rhodes (two runs) went 2-for-3 for the Cardinals.
"We wanted to come out, get early hits, get the momentum," said DeBoy. "We did that. But you've got to give it to St. Paul's for the season they had. They proved they belong up here."
St. Paul's (17-11), which moved up from the B Conference where they won two league crowns, was led by junior Tom Trela (2-for-3, one RBI) and Kris LaBadie (2-for-3, one run).
"They really hammered Mount St. Joseph [17-6 on Monday] to get here, and I knew they'd get their hits," said junior pitcher Justin Nash (four strikeouts, three walks), who went the distance to improve to 10-2. "We just played great as a team."
Berkey, a senior outfielder, now shares the state RBIs record of 46 with 1994 Calvert Hall graduate Liam Healy, but he came close to surpassing that twice.
With two outs and a runner on third base in the third inning, Berkey flied out to deep left-center field. And before Berkey could bat in the fourth, Hammonds was caught attempting to steal third.
"When the ball left my bat [in the third inning], I thought it was gone. And I won't hold anything against Nick," Berkey said. Then, referring to last season when Gilman took the A Conference prize, Berkey said. "We got the title back and that's the bottom line. We came out, got the hits we needed and won this game."
The Crusaders, winners in eight of their past 10 games, rallied during a three-run, four-hit fourth-inning, but Calvert Hall came back with four runs on five hits.
"They [Cardinals] are a great ball club," said Crusaders coach Paul Bernstorf. "But our seniors -- Adair Newhall, Josh Decklebaum, Justin Singleton -- they're a great group also. And we had a great season."
Said Trela: "We reached our expectations and surpassed everyone else's."
Pub Date: 5/21/97