Centineo helps MSJ overcome Gibbons

Down 3-0, No. 2 Gaels rally past Crusaders, 6-3


High Schools

March 28, 2001|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Yesterday was lefty Dave Centineo's turn to start, and like his junior classmate Joe Peeler the day before, he got the job done for No. 2-ranked Mount St. Joseph.

After a shaky beginning in which he gave up two first-inning runs and another in the third, Centineo settled down to pitch the Gaels to a 6-3 victory over No. 12 Cardinal Gibbons in Irvington.

The Gaels are 3-0 in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference (3-1 overall) and Centineo and Peeler, who four-hit Loyola on Monday in a 10-1 romp, are the keys to a run at the conference title.

Ace right-hander Gavin Floyd is 24-3 over three seasons, but he can't do it by himself.

"That's what we're looking for," said Mount St. Joe coach Dave Norton, who saved Peeler and Centineo for the two league games to start this week, and as a result suffered a 15-8 loss to Thomas Johnson of Frederick on Saturday.

"We've got three guys who can throw and we're in good shape. That's what it takes. Joe threw great Monday with 13 strikeouts, and Dave came up big today."

Centineo scattered six hits and struck out seven.

As DH yesterday, Peeler hit a sacrifice fly that scored the Gaels' first run, and his two-run double down the right-field line was the big blow in a four-run fifth.

Gibbons got one-out singles from Josh Peach and Craig King off Centineo in the first inning. They scored on Dennis Wilderson's fielder's choice and a double by Matt Foster.

The Crusaders, 1-1 in the league, added the third run in the third with leadoff batter and starting pitcher Jason Volker scoring on a throwing error by Gaels catcher Mike Flaig.

Volker, a junior right-hander, changed speeds in shutting out the Gaels through the first three innings.

Sophomore Kevin Leasure led off the fourth with his first of two singles and scored on Peeler's fly ball. Matt Moynihan later singled in the Gaels' second run to set the stage for the big fifth frame.

D.J. Steirer relieved Volker with one out in the fifth and one runner aboard. RBIs by Leasure and Joe Sargent and Peeler's clutch double put the Gaels on top.

"If that's the No. 1 team [Mount St. Joe, former No. 1] in this area, we're there," said coach Lou Holcomb, who brought his Crusaders back up to the A Conference after two straight B Conference titles. "I think we can play with the big schools. We're happy with the effort today."

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