Calvert Hall's late-season surge continued yesterday with a 9-4 rout of Mount St. Joseph as the visiting Cardinals put themselves in position for their 11th Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A conference baseball title since 1984 and the eighth since 1990.
All-Metro left-hander Ryan Kyle (8-1) out-dueled Gaels junior All-Metro ace Gavin Floyd (11-2) for a second straight game and is now 3-1 against the latter over the past two seasons.
Floyd, who is 21-3 in two years, fell victim to seven unearned runs in the second inning, all coming after two were out. In contrast, Kyle was brilliant, tossing a four-hitter with nine strikeouts. Last year's All-Metro shortstop Allen Strick, who is noted for his defense, made two of the three St. Joe errors in the crucial inning.
After giving up eight runs, only one earned, Floyd was removed after four innings.
"Floyd is tough to beat; [that] was a big win for us," said Calvert Hall coach Snooky Binder. "We got a really big effort from Ryan. He had his curve working and threw pretty hard, really pumped up a few times."
Floyd, a 6-foot-5 right-hander, may have had his best stuff of the season while warming up and throwing a scoreless inning Wednesday before a rain and hail storm forced postponement to yesterday. When play resumed yesterday, Floyd was nowhere near as sharp as Kyle.
"I had real good velocity," Kyle said. "I was excited about this game because we beat them last time. I told the guys to get a few runs and I would take care of it."
The No. 4-ranked Cardinals (17-11) are 2-0 in the double-elimination tournament, after losing six in a row and falling to 9-9 several weeks ago.
The survivor of the No. 9 Archbishop Curley (18-12) at No. 3 Mount St. Joseph (21-9) semifinal on Tuesday must beat the Cards twice to win it.
"I like the situation we are in," Binder said. "It's going to be nice to take off the weekend."
The finals are set to begin Wednesday at a site to be determined and Curley has double incentive to make it there. The next Friars win would be coach Al Frank's 500th and give them a chance to defend their title.
"We were there [2-0] last year and we ended up losing the two [to Curley]," said Gaels coach Dave Norton. "The same thing can happen."