Calvert Hall's Gossman stymies St. Paul's, 7-1

Cardinals, No. 1 St. Joe advance, will meet today

MIAA baseball

High Schools

May 19, 2000|By Lem Satterfield and Pat O'Malley | Lem Satterfield and Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

When Calvert Hall right-hander Brent Gossman's low-and-outside fastball got socked 415 feet over the center-field fence by Brent Weiss for a one-run lead in the fourth inning, it seemed a good omen for visiting St. Paul's.

But by the sixth inning, when Gossman struck out Weiss on a 2-2 count with the same pitch, his teammates had given him a three-run lead en route to a 7-1 first-round victory in yesterday's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference double-elimination tournament.

The No. 2-seeded Cardinals (16-11), winners of seven of their past eight games, today will play at No. 1 seed Mount St. Joseph. St. Paul's will play host to Curley.

Calvert Hall likely will start ace All-Metro left-hander Ryan Kyle (7-1) today.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Gossman got stronger as the game went on, finishing with seven strikeouts and no walks and yielding only three hits on 95 pitches against 25 batters.

Gossman, who improved to 4-3 overall (2-0 against St. Paul's), retired the side in the seventh inning, with two batters grounding out on nice grabs by shortstop Dustin Sparks.

Gossman's fastball clocked consistently between 86 and 88 mph, with a 90-mph fastball on his final pitch to strike out the last batter looking."First pitch, he [Weiss] got around on a good swing. Give him credit, but I thought I could get him the next time, so I went with the same pitch," said Gossman, who had beaten the Crusaders, 23-1, earlier this season. "When their best hitter goes down looking, I think it gets in their team's heads a little bit."

The Cardinals' offense, and six errors by the Crusaders, had something to do with that, too, as Calvert Hall scored twice in each of the fourth and fifth innings, and three times in the sixth.

Sparks, Mike Dziecichowicz and Nathan Barker - the latter in his first game back after missing two weeks with an injured shoulder - had run-scoring singles.Mount St. Joseph 4, Curley 2: Pinch-hit for in the seventh inning, Todd Plajzer re-entered as a runner and then belted a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to lift Mount St. Joseph over defending champion Archbishop Curley in the first round of the MIAA playoffs.

The top seeded and No. 4-ranked Gaels (21-8) got a clutch two-out single by winning pitcher Gavin Floyd in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game at 2.

Floyd's hit and 41st RBI of the season came after the Gaels ran themselves out of what could have been a game-ending inning if a runner on second had not been thrown out at third on a grounder to short.

Plajzer, a senior catcher who was batting ninth as the designated hitter for freshman catcher Brian Bent, struck out his first two times up. Matt Moynihan batted for him in the seventh and drew a walk with Plajzer re-entering as a runner and coming up in the eighth.

"We had a hit-and-run on, trying to make something happen," said Mount St. Joe coach Dave Norton referring to Rusty Potee reaching on an infield hit after Paul Harris had fouled into a double play on a hit and run.

"Todd has struggled all year long, but got the key base hit and that's the great thing about baseball."

Floyd (0.85 ERA) ran his record to an area best 11-1 on a four-hitter with nine strikeouts to end a hex with the Friars.

With two playoff wins over the Gaels last year on the way to the title and earning the fourth seed a second straight year with an 8-6 victory over the Mount last Monday, the Friars had a six-game winning streak vs. the Gaels.

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