MSJ topples top-ranked Calvert Hall

Zappacosta's 4 innings propel Gaels to final, 7-6

MIAA A Conference baseball

High Schools

May 27, 2004|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Pitching in the game of his life, Mount St. Joseph's Dave Zappacosta didn't talk to any of his teammates and leaned on a pole in the dugout in between his innings of relief that led the No. 6 Gaels to a 7-6 win at No. 1 Calvert Hall yesterday.

Zappacosta's outstanding effort of one-hit ball through four scoreless innings came in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference semifinals and advanced the third-seeded Gaels (25-6) to the final for the first time since 2000.

Top-seeded Calvert Hall (22-10), a 13-10 loser to No. 2 and second-seeded Archbishop Spalding (23-8) Tuesday in the winners' bracket, was eliminated yesterday. Spalding is unbeaten in the double-elimination tourney and Mount St. Joseph has to beat the Cavaliers twice, beginning with today's 4:30 final at Towson University, to win the title.

If necessary, the second game will be tomorrow at Towson.

"I started off placing my fast ball in and out and by the second inning I pitched, I started getting my curveball over," said Zappacosta, a seldom-used junior left-hander.

"I didn't feel any pressure because I didn't talk to anybody and just focused on what I had to do. Getting the win is easily the highlight of my career."

Zappacosta replaced Phil Kraska in the fourth with two runs home for Calvert Hall and gave up a third (charged to Kraska) before getting out of the inning with the Cardinals leading 6-3.

Mount St. Joseph then took the lead with four runs in the top of the fifth on three of Calvert Hall's five errors and a two-run single by Jimmy Drury.

Zappacosta then retired the next six Cardinals..

"I told our parents at our banquet Sunday that Dave was our most improved pitcher, " said coach Dave Norton, whose Gaels last won the title in 1987. "He has come so far since the beginning of the year."

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