St. Paul's bashes by Curley, 12-2

Crusaders sag early, 2-0, clinch on Hill's homer

High Schools

April 21, 2000|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Few young, inexperienced high school teams bounce back from being on the short end of a 9-0 no-hitter. Such a setback often signals the start of a slide, and for all indications, St. Paul's looked headed downward after falling behind 2-0 to visiting Archbishop Curley yesterday.

The inevitable losing streak that teams around the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference had been anticipating for the No. 7-ranked Crusaders was on order -- until the fourth inning, when St. Paul's erupted for four runs.

The Crusaders then replicated that feat in the fifth and sixth innings, giving St. Paul's a 12-2 victory over the No. 15, defending conference champion Friars via the 10-run rule.

Walter Hill's two-out, three-run homer to right-center field was the crusher for the Crusaders.

Making his first conference start, junior designated hitter Chris Marsiglia paced a 16-hit attack by going 4-for-4 with a triple, three runs scored, and three RBIs.

Brent Weiss was 3-for-3, James Fontelieu 3-for-4, and Hill had two hits with four RBIs.

Sophomore right-hander John Zandler (5-1) proved to be the stopper of losing streaks for St. Paul's, pitching a seven-hitter with three strikeouts and one walk on 69 pitches in six innings.

The somewhat surprising win kept the Crusaders (13-4 overall) in first place by a game at 7-2 over No. 5 Mount St. Joseph (15-5, 6-3) and Loyola (7-6, 6-3), which played McDonogh yesterday.

Easily the youngest team in the MIAA A Conference with only one starting senior, St. Paul's had just done what veteran clubs do. St. Paul's was no-hit by Loyola's Brett Smagola on Wednesday, and no one had a right to complain if they lost again the next day to Curley, especially when they fell behind early.

Veteran teams often bounce back from adversity, but young clubs often don't.

"We're hanging in there, and when you're a young team like we are, you're going to have lulls when you lack confidence," said Crusaders coach Paul Bernstorf, who admitted to being worried about a nosedive.

"You're going to have points when they're really confident, but we just have to stay a little more even-keeled. We talked between innings about relaxing, not putting too much pressure on ourselves, and having fun again. Once we started having fun, we started to play better."

After spotting the Friars (8-8, 3-5) the 2-0 lead on RBIs by Brooks Norris and John Richardson (2-for-2) in the first and second innings, the fun started for the Crusaders in the fourth.

"We were really discouraged after the no-hitter but got it out of us and came out strong today."

Chris Marsiglia, St. Paul's designated hitter

Freshman catcher Bryan Delmonte started the break-out with a single to left that was followed by a Fontelieu single and a two-run triple by Marsiglia.

Ben Farmer's first of two hits scored Marsiglia, and Farmer came home on Hill's screaming double into right-center that chased Dave Naumann, Curley's starter and the losing pitcher.

Norris pitched Curley out of further damage but was chased in the fifth inning, when the Crusaders put up four more runs, highlighted by freshman Tommy Herrmann's two-run single.

Dan Prevatt replaced Norris and gave up the final four runs that ended the game in the sixth. Farmer drove in the first run before Hill launched his homer to end it in style.

"We were really discouraged after the no-hitter but got it out of us and came out strong today," said Marsiglia.

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