Calvert Hall struggles to put away T. Johnson

Corcoran's 8th-inning RBI gives No. 3 Cards 7-6 win

April 18, 1999|By Mark Hoeflich | Mark Hoeflich,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

It should not have been this difficult. But the Calvert Hall Cardinals are making a habit of taking the most arduous path to victory this season.

Twice yesterday, the Cardinals failed to hold three-run leads. And late in the game, they had to go to their stopper, right-hander Brent Gossman.

But then Seamus Corcoran singled home the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth to give third-ranked Calvert Hall a 7-6 win over Thomas Johnson at Redwood Field in Loch Raven.

The Patriots, who came into the game with a 2-6 record, forced the extra inning on Jared Putnam's bases-empty home run in the top of the seventh.

"We sometimes make it difficult on ourselves," said Calvert Hall coach Joe Binder. "Anytime we have the middle of our lineup up with less than two outs and we don't score with a man on third, you're just asking to get beat. But we hung tough."

Things started out well for the Cardinals (12-4), as No. 5 hitter Brad Williams tripled home two runs and Stuart Kimmel followed with a run-scoring single to stake Calvert Hall to a 3-0 lead after one inning.

But Calvert Hall managed only five hits over the next seven innings and finished 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position, including a 1-for-7 effort by its No. 3 through No. 6 hitters.

"We've been leaving a lot of runners on base, and that's one of the things we need to work on," said Seamus. "I thought we had the game won earlier, but we should have hit the ball better."

Binder has been wrestling with a young pitching staff, and yesterday starter Matt Kyle and Brian Anecharico, who relieved Kyle in the fourth, each labored at times as Frederick team inched back into the game.

Kyle struck out three of the first four batters he faced but issued three walks in the second inning, forcing in a run, and allowed another run on a wild pitch that brought the Patriots within 3-2.

After the Cardinals moved ahead 5-2 with runs in the second and third innings, Anecharico surrendered a double to the first batter he faced in the fourth, and the Patriots again pulled within one on Nick Desando's RBI single and Bryan Stup's sacrifice fly.

Meanwhile, Tim Biser kept Thomas Johnson (2-7) in the game by allowing just two runs and three hits in 4 2/3 innings of relief of starter Brad Crum.

With his team ahead 6-5, Binder went with his ace Gossman to start the seventh. But Putnam drove Gossman's first pitch deep to left for a home run that tied the game at 6.

Gossman remained unfazed, though, and retired five of what would be the Patriots' last six batters. He earned the win when Corcoran's hit in the eighth scored Joe Hinz with the deciding run.

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