Loyola drops second in a row, 5-2

Calvert Hall's victory tightens MIAA A race


April 23, 1999|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

All of a sudden there is a race for the top seed in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference, but that comes as no surprise, not even to the coach who was in front by two games when the week started.

No. 5 Loyola (10-4 overall, 8-2 league) ran into tough left-hander Ryan Kyle yesterday and dropped its second straight, 5-2, to No. 3 Calvert Hall at Redwood Park in Loch Raven.

Loyola hangs onto first in the league, but Calvert Hall (14-5, 8-3) and No. 2 Mount St. Joseph (13-5, 7-3), an 8-7 loser to McDonogh yesterday, are within a game.

The MIAA A Conference playoffs are May 17-21 at Joe Cannon Stadium in Harmans.

The Cardinals and Gaels had lost to Loyola the first time around and the Dons were unbeaten in A Conference action before Tuesday's 6-1 loss to St. Joe and yesterday's loss.

Did Loyola expect to run away with the regular season?

"No way, not in this league," said Tim Nordbrook, the ex-major-leaguer who returned to his alma mater as head coach and had the Dons rolling until this week.

"We were lucky the first time around sneaking up on these teams, but our kids are hanging tough. If we get into the playoffs and play our A-game, we can win."

Kyle (5-0) spotted the Dons two runs in the first inning, but settled down and his mates rallied for three in the third and one more in each of the next two innings.

Nordbrook promoted Brett Smagola from the No. 6 hole in the batting order to cleanup and Smagola delivered a two-run double in the first for a 2-0 Loyola lead.

Kyle gave up two of his five hits in the first inning, one to shortstop Steve Pyzik, who was 3-for-4. The Calvert Hall junior settled down and yielded harmless singles to Pyzik in the third and fifth innings and to Jeff Fertitta in the sixth.

Four consecutive singles, the last two by Joe Marcozzi and Greg Smoot to drive in runs, and a wild pitch by Loyola starter and loser Chris Clayville to score Marcozzi enabled Calvert Hall to take a 3-2 lead in the third inning.

The Cardinals added an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth on a line single to center by designated hitter Brent Gossman off reliever Pat Dahlgren.

Clayville's line was four hits, four earned runs, four strikeouts and three walks.

Loyola put two on with two out in the fifth, but by this time Kyle had gained control of all his pitches and caught Smagola looking at a slider for strike three.

"I started getting on top of my pitches, they started breaking a little nicer and I had better control," said Kyle, who threw 105 pitches (66 strikes) while striking out six and walking two, the last to Ryan Smith in the sixth.

Calvert Hall added its fifth run in the bottom of the fifth when Marcozzi led off with a double and scored on a wild pitch for the second time in the game.

Pub Date: 4/23/99

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