Curley overpowers Loyola, 6-5

Friars homer three times

Price gets 1st spring win

April 29, 1999|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Archbishop Curley, possibly the metro area's best hitting club, got a little stronger overall in beating visiting Loyola, 6-5, yesterday, with expected pitching ace Ray Price winning his first game of the season.

The result created a three-way tie for first in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference among No. 2-ranked Mount St. Joseph, No. 3 Calvert Hall and No. 6 Loyola at 9-3 each.

No. 10 Curley is next at 9-4, and a healthy Price could be a plus as the Friars' wind down their 16-game league schedule and jockey for seeding in conference playoffs May 17-21 at Cannon Stadium.

Expected to be the 18-7 Friars' ace, Price lost a couple weeks with a sore shoulder. He returned Sunday to pitch four innings in a 5-2 loss to the Washington area's top-ranked Riverdale Baptist.

The 6-foot-6, 190-pound senior left-hander was 0-2 going into yesterday's game. But he held the Dons (11-5, with three straight losses) to five hits, struck out 11 and walked two.

"We got some good pitching today, and our hitting has really been coming on the last two-to-three weeks," said Al Frank, who is in his 37th season as Curley coach and, with more than 475, is the metro area's leader in career wins.

Indeed, the Friars' hitting has been hot. Curley has belted 43 homers, one short of the state record 44 Severna Park hit last season in 22 games.

Three of Curley's homers came yesterday, including No. 14 by third baseman Mike Costello, a three-run shot in the fifth inning that chased Loyola starter and loser Steve Pyzik and provided the eventual margin of victory.

Costello's homer gave the Friars a 6-2 lead. Loyola added a run in the sixth, when Pyzik (2-for-3) tripled and came home on Brett Smagola's ground ball, and the Dons made things hairy in their final at-bat.

Brad Siegert, a right-handed batter with excellent opposite-field power, started the seventh with a homer. Two outs later, Ryan Smith homered to cut Curley's lead to 6-5.

But Price struck out Adam Rohr to end the game.

"Early in the game, I did pretty well, but in the late innings I was a little tired," said Price, who struck out the side in the first and five of the first six batters with a tailing fastball, curve and change-up. "I was able to finish out and get a nice win."

Costello, a four-year starter, broke the state record for homers (12) set last year by Mark Teixeira, of Mount St. Joseph, and Severna Park's Keith Brunst, who hit two Monday in an 18-5 romp at John Carroll.

Nine of Costello's homers have come at Curley's homer-friendly park -- 310 feet down the lines, 330 to center and 325 in right-center. His home run yesterday was to right-center.

"When he hits them, they usually would be homers anywhere," said third base-coach Tim Norris, an All-Metro pitcher and Player of the Year at Curley in 1977 whose son Brooks is now playing for Frank.

Friars right fielder Brian Sommers and first baseman Derek Fritz each hit their seventh homers of spring in the fourth after Loyola took a 2-0 lead on a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch.

Pub Date: 4/29/99

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