Perkins, St. Paul's ground Curley

Lefty's 3-hitter gives Crusaders a 2-0 win, final showdown today

High Schools

MIAA A baseball

May 25, 2001|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

St. Paul's left-hander Brian Perkins induced 14 groundball outs while throwing a masterful three-hit shutout of No. 3 Curley in a 2-0 win in the MIAA A Conference finals yesterday at Joe Cannon Stadium.

"It was a great game. The best game I've ever played in," said the senior Perkins, who said he will cherish yesterday's win more than his no-hitter over Loyola during the season.

The victory left the No. 12 Crusaders (20-14), who are playing in the first A Conference finals, and the Friars (22-8) at 2-1 each in the double-elimination format, necessitating today's 1:30 p.m. game at Cannon.

The Crusaders scored a run in the fourth when Brent Weiss doubled and scored on Greg Brown's fielder's choice, and added a crucial insurance run in the sixth on Walter Hill's first homer of the season.

Curley and right-hander Brooks Norris (8-2) were hoping to wrap up their second A Conference title in three years, but Perkins rose to the occasion.

"I could not push off that rubber [on recently lowered mound at Cannon] today to save my life, and didn't have my best stuff, so I knew I had to rely on my defense," said Perkins. "My defense came through and made all the plays and Brent [Weiss] caught a great game. I got a lot of first-ball strikes and got ahead. I knew I wasn't going to strike out a lot today because they're a great hitting team."

Perkins struck out three and walked two on a remarkable 79 pitches. His second base on balls came on a hairy bottom of the seventh.

Curley really never got any- thing going until their final at-bat when they put two on base for the first time in the game. The fifth inning could have been a big one for the Friars, but two pinch runners committed base-running mistakes to kill the threat.

After Perkins got the first out in the seventh, Dan Prevatt reached on an infield hit, and Perkins went to only his second 3-2 count in the game before walking Norris.

Perkins then caught left-handed Steve Gale, who had singled in the second, looking at a third strike for the second out.

But the Friars put the pressure on with Frank Embardino batting.

Prevatt and Norris executed a gutsy double-steal to put both runners in scoring position, but Perkins coaxed Embardino into grounding out to shortstop Tommy Herman to end the game.

"The kids played great and we did the things that got us here - pitching and defense," said St. Paul's coach Paul Bernstorf, who cited several outstanding defensive plays by this team, including one by left fielder Colin Murphy.

Murphy cut down Lynn Fuller trying to stretch a single down the left-field line into a double with one out in the third inning.

St. Paul's 000 101 0 - 2 7 0

Curley 000 000 0 - 0 3 1

Perkins and Weiss; Norris and Herzog. 2B: SP-Weiss. HR: SP-Hill.


State finals (At Joe Cannon Stadium) Today Class 4A

Arundel vs. Dulaney, 7 Tomorrow Class 1A

St. Michaels vs. Brunswick, noon Class 2A

Blake vs. Centennial, 3:30 Class 3A

Northeast vs. Westlake, 7

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