Teixeira powers No. 1 St. Joe Long homer helps Gaels subdue No. 15 Loyola, 4-2

March 31, 1998|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

His nickname is "Tex," short for his last name. But it might as well be an abbreviation for Texas, which is where it seems he's capable of hitting a baseball.

Mark Teixeira's first-pitch, 390-foot bases-empty home run helped to quell a rally at No. 15 Loyola (5-2, 0-2) and spurred No. 1 Mount St. Joseph (4-2, 4-0) to a its fourth straight MIAA A Conference victory, 4-2.

Teixeira had crossed the plate twice previously after being walked in the first and third innings -- both times on doubles by center fielder Mike Floyd, who went 2-for-3 and scored the Gaels' third run on Joe Hargadon's third-inning single.

Teixeira's shot came shortly after Loyola had rallied for two runs to make it a 3-2 game in the home third. In that inning, Loyola got consecutive singles by Adam Rohr, Steve Pizik and Matt Heart -- the latter scoring Rohr -- before Pizik crossed the plate on starter Jeff Fertitta's sacrifice fly to right field.

After that, however, Gaels' right-hander Brian Hartman (2-1) retired 13 of the last 14 batters. Hartman walked only one batter -- in the first inning -- struck out three and allowed seven hits.

Loyola was coming off an upset of Riverdale Baptist, ranked No. 1 by the Washington Post and a team which handed St. Joe a season-opening loss. And Dons' coach Dave McCann told his team prior to the game that the switch-hitting "Teixeira wasn't going to be the one that beats us because he can hammer from both sides."

To that end, McCann had starting right-hander Fertitta "throwing pitches that were basically unhittable," according to Teixeira, before he drove Fertitta's offering into the right field trees.

"It was a curveball that didn't curve," said Teixeira, who was batting left-handed against Fertitta. "It was tired of walking. It was definitely a mistake."

Said the Virginia-bound Floyd: "We expect teams to try and walk Tex, but I've prepared for situations like those."

Afterward, McCann pointed to the visitor's third inning, in which Teixeira was safe on a delayed steal and took third base on an infield error.

"Our infielders had their heads down, didn't cover, so that was good coaching on the part of [St. Joe's] Dave Norton," McCann said.

"Mental errors," Heart said. "They didn't beat us, we beat ourselves."

No. 4 Archbishop Curley 3, No. 12 McDonogh 0: Junior Dan Deming (2-0) pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and striking out four to lead the Friars (4-1, 2-1) to a MIAA A Conference victory over the visiting Eagles.

Curley's Scott Kosmicky hit a two-run, two-out double in the sixth inning to break open a scoreless game. He scored the third run after a missed pick-off attempt.

Senior Bradd Kaplan gave up three runs on five hits for McDonogh.

Pub Date: 3/31/98

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