Plajzer's HR carries Mt. St. Joe past Curley

8th-inning hit secures 4-2 win for Gaels' Floyd

MIAA baseball

High Schools

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

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, 4-2, in the first round of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference playoffs yesterday.

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.

Today at 4 p.m., Mount St. Joseph plays host to No. 2 seed and sixth-ranked Calvert Hall (16-11), a 7-1 winner over No. 11 and third-seeded St. Paul's (17-9) yesterday. Curley travels to St. Paul's with the loser eliminated from the double-elimination tournament.

Yesterday, the Gaels got a first-inning run on a double by Joe Sargent and walks to Allen Strick and Floyd that loaded the bases. While pitching to Alex Rodgers, Curley starter Dave Naumann uncorked a wild pitch to score Sargent.

Floyd, now 21-2 (both losses to Calvert Hall) in two varsity seasons, retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced. Steve Althoff drew a two-out walk in the first as the only Friar to reach until the visitors scored two in the fourth.

Althoff singled with one out in the fourth, stole second and came home on Brooks Norris' single to left. Norris took second when the Gaels missed the cut-off man.

Floyd struck out Jack Herzog, but after the plate umpire missed a back-breaking curve from Floyd to Brandon Clark, the latter ripped a fastball for a double into right-center to make it 2-1 Curley.

"After they got ahead, I was ticked, " said Floyd. "I knew I had to mow them down and hope we would get a chance to win."

Naumann baffled the Gaels with a variety of off-speed offerings and did not give up another hit after Sargent's first inning until Chris McAndrew doubled with two gone in the sixth but was stranded.

After Floyd tied the game up, shortstop Justin Tester came in for Naumann, got the final out, but gave up the homer to Plajzer the next inning.

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