No. 2 Spalding outlasts top-ranked Calvert Hall

Out-hit 18-7, Cavaliers still earn rare trip to final, 13-10

MIAA baseball

High Schools

May 26, 2004|By Tommy Ventre | Tommy Ventre,SUN STAFF

For a baseball program that has waited 12 seasons to return to the playoffs and 28 seasons to play for a spot in a conference final, second-ranked Archbishop Spalding displayed quite a bit of patience yesterday against No. 1 Calvert Hall.

By the end of a 2 1/2 -hour marathon at McManus Field in Towson, Spalding had allowed runs in five innings, surrendered 18 hits, struck out nine times and sat through four Cardinals pitching changes. But none of it fazed starting pitcher Andrew Germuth and his teammates, who gave themselves an early lead, then sat back and seemed content to let the game come to them.

Calvert Hall obliged, and the result was a 13-10 victory that placed the Cavaliers in a conference final for the first time in program history, just one win from the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship.

Calvert Hall (23-9) stayed alive in the double-elimination tournament, falling into the loser's bracket final today against Mount St. Joseph. The winner will have to beat Spalding (23-8) twice tomorrow at Towson University to take the title.

"It feels awesome," said Germuth, who threw 112 pitches to extend the Cavs' first postseason appearance since a B Conference berth in 1992. "Our goal coming into the season was to go 16-4 [in the league]. We fell one loss short, but one game doesn't matter when you make it to the championship."

The Cavs got there yesterday by taking an unconventional route. Spalding scored its runs on seven hits, and though four of those went for extra bases, the Cavs also got help from nine walks, two hit batsmen, four Calvert Hall errors, a passed ball and a wild pitch.

In three separate innings, the Cavaliers scored multiple runs on one hit, including a five-run third that was highlighted by Don Fletcher's two-run triple. Spalding's other three runs that inning came on a throwing error, a fielder's choice and a passed ball.

Calvert Hall, meanwhile, hit Germuth hard but had little to show for it. The Cardinals ripped 18 hits, had the bases loaded three times and were retired in order just twice. But whenever he needed to, Germuth came up with a big pitch, perhaps none bigger than the 3-2 offering that struck out Scott Krieger to end the game, leaving the tying run in the on-deck circle.

"[Germuth] didn't have his best stuff today," Spalding coach Steve Miller said. "His ball was up, his location wasn't there, but the mark of a good pitcher is he battles through. He battled his butt off all day long."

Said Calvert Hall coach Lou Eckerl: "I take my hat off to Spalding. They did what needed to be done to win. We didn't, but hopefully we can win [today] and we'll see them [tomorrow]."

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