Mt. St. Joe uses 3 homers to roll past Spalding, 14-2

Plajzer leads Gaels' attack with grand slam, 5 RBIs

Baseball

April 04, 2000|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

There's nothing like a hitting clinic to brighten Mount St. Joseph's mood.

The third-ranked Gaels exploded for 14 hits and three home runs to wallop host Archbishop Spalding, 14-2, in Severn yesterday.

Junior catcher Todd Plajzer led Mount St. Joseph batters with a 2-for-3 outing that included a grand slam, a double and five RBIs, and senior shortstop Allen Strick went 4-for-4 with a two-run homer and three singles. On the mound, senior right-hander David Byroade overcame a shaky start to hold the Cavaliers (2-2 in the conference, 5-3 overall) hitless in his last four innings of work.

The performances at the plate and in the field helped the Gaels (3-1 in the MIAA conference and 12-3 overall) get over a 17-7 pounding to then-unranked Archbishop Curley at the Jack Conley Tournament last Saturday.

"It was a big win," Plajzer said of yesterday's victory. "Lately, we haven't been playing too well. We had our minds in it today, and we played solid."

Mount St. Joseph coach Dave Norton said the players may have put too much pressure on themselves to live up to their preseason No. 1 billing.

"They know that they're good, they just have to believe that they're good," Norton said. "They want to be perfect."

The Gaels started flawlessly yesterday, bringing 10 batters to the plate against Cavaliers senior right-hander Zeeshan Marfani in the first inning. Two errors by Archbishop Spalding junior shortstop Jason Funk set the stage for Plajzer's towering shot over the left-field fence.

In the top of the fifth, junior second baseman Joey Sargent's one-out single down the left-field line and a fielder's choice on a grounder by junior right fielder Gavin Floyd helped Mount St. Joseph earn a comfortable 11-2 lead.

Finally, Floyd followed Strick's one-out homer in the top of the seventh with a bases-empty shot of his own to seal the win.

Archbishop Spalding coach Dave Lanhamwas was less than pleased with his squad's performance.

"We didn't show up," he said. "It's disappointing in the first inning when you make two errors and give up five runs. When you make those mistakes against a quality ballclub like Mount St. Joe's, they're going to use that opportunity."

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