Spalding's Germuth slips rival a loss, 2-1

Five-hitter bests Johnson, St. Paul's

Cavs 2nd in `A'

Baseball

High Schools

May 05, 2004|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

In a matchup of two of the area's top pitchers, Andrew Germuth of No. 7 Archbishop Spalding out-dueled St. Paul's Steve Johnson, 2-1, yesterday in Brooklandville.

Germuth pitched a five-hitter with six strikeouts and one walk on 91 pitches for the visiting Cavaliers. His counterpart allowed eight hits, struck out eight and walked one on 94 pitches.

Justin Perry, Spalding's senior catcher, singled in the winning run with two outs in the top of the fifth after St. Paul's catcher Chad Durakis tied it with a two-out single in the third.

Perry smacked a hanging curveball on a 1-2 count to score Brandon Woods, who was 2-for-3 in the game.

Drew Poiter doubled in Dan Palumbo in the first inning for the Cavaliers' first run.

"I thought I had really good stuff, but I made two mistakes and it cost me two runs," said Johnson, a junior who has already pitched the No. 15 Crusaders to back-to-back Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference titles.

"I expected it to be a really tough game. I've read about him [Germuth] in the papers and heard from other teams that he has been pitching well. He was good today hitting spots, location good and kept us off balance."

One of Germuth's biggest outs was a strikeout of Johnson, who is also one of the area's top hitters, leading off the bottom of the sixth. Johnson fouled off four two-strike pitches before swinging at a pitch that broke down and away.

"It was a split-fingered changeup that goes straight down," Germuth said. "I was really jacked up for this game, knowing that he was pitching against me."

It was the first loss of the season for Johnson, St. Paul's two-time All-Metro star, and the result left both right-handers with 8-1 records.

"This was big, and we have a real pivotal game at St. Joe on Friday," said Germuth, who beat Mount St. Joseph, 4-1, in early April and is the only league pitcher with wins over the Gaels, two-time defending champion St. Paul's and league leading Calvert Hall.

"If we can get that one on Friday, we'll be in really good shape."

Coupled with No. 3 Mount St. Joseph's 6-3 loss to McDonogh yesterday, Spalding (17-6) took sole possession of second place in the A Conference. The Cavs are 11-3 in the league, a half game behind No. 2 Calvert Hall (17-6, 11-2) and a half game up on third-place Mount St. Joseph (18-4, 11-4).

St. Paul's (17-11) fell to fifth at 7-6, a half game behind 8-6 McDonogh. John Carroll is sixth at 7-7.

The top six teams qualify for the double-elimination playoffs, with the top two seeds gaining first-round byes for the May 20 start date.

The MIAA announced this week that the A and B conference finals will be played at Towson University May 27, with May 28 the "if necessary" date.

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