Visiting Mount St. Joseph jumped on Calvert Hall early and cruised to a 13-6 victory yesterday in an Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference baseball game at McManus Field in Towson.
No. 2-ranked Mount St. Joseph (13-1 overall, 7-1 MIAA) put together three run-scoring doubles in a five-run second inning that chased Calvert Hall starter Sean Rae. The Gaels scored again in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to build a 12-1 lead on the No. 4 Cardinals (8-3, 5-2) and turn what was supposed to be a big showdown into a rout.
Leadoff man Jeff Poff led a 14-hit attack with three hits, two runs and an RBI. Eight of the Gaels' nine starters had at least one hit, and five had two hits apiece.
Poff said he had talked to several Cardinals, who are summer teammates of his with the Maryland Orioles, about the game Tuesday night on the Internet.
"They were telling me that it was going to be a good game," Poff said. "But I told them whoever hits the ball more was going to come out on top."
Gaels starting pitcher Brian Bent scattered six hits over 5 1/3 innings to notch his fourth victory without a loss.
"We've got a pretty strong hitting lineup all the way through," said Mount St. Joseph coach Dave Norton. "We're averaging 10, 11, 12 runs a ballgame. And if we get good pitching and good defense, we're going to be tough to beat."
Calvert Hall scored five runs over the final two innings to make the game , matching the top two teams in the A Conference, a little more respectable.
"I thought we came out ready to play today, but we've had three games in three days with no practice," said Calvert Hall coach Lou Eckerl, who lamented the busy week after his team spent last week indoors because of the rain.
"We need to work on some things that we didn't do today like fielding ground balls, blowing a first-and-third situation [defensively] and making some dumb base-running mistakes. St. Joe played well and they're fundamentally sound, and in big games like this that's what you have to do."
An infield error opened the gates in the second, and the Gaels rung up five runs after Justin Drenner, Teon Richburg and Robbie Burns connected for consecutive RBI doubles. Burns' hit produced two runs, and Poff knocked in Burns for the fifth run.
Bent drilled a triple to right-center to highlight a two-run fifth and singled in one along with Steve Clevenger in the four-run sixth that put the game away.
Calvert Hall's Phil Engle doubled in a pair of runs during a three-run sixth, knocking out Bent. Then Gavin Swanson doubled in the last two off reliever Robert Penn in the seventh.