Cards, Gaels unfinished

No. 1 Calvert Hall, No. 2 Mt. St. Joe play 6 innings before darkness halts game

Calvert Hall 7 Mount St. Joseph 7

Baseball

High Schools

March 25, 2006|By TODD KARPOVICH | TODD KARPOVICH,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association baseball season opened yesterday with its top teams, Calvert Hall and Mount St. Joseph, going head-to-head for early bragging rights, but in the end, neither team could claim them.

The top-ranked Cardinals and No. 2 Gaels played to a 7-7 tie before darkness began to set in at chilly McManus Field in Towson. The game will be finished when Calvert Hall plays at Mount St. Joseph on April 19.

The Gaels trailed 5-0 until the fifth inning when they sent 11 batters to the plate to tie the game. Cardinals coach Lou Eckerl said each team was just one or two mistakes away from winning the game, a rematch of last year's conference championship.

"We're two good teams and everyone played well," Eckerl said. "If we don't misplay a couple of fly balls, we don't give up those five runs in that one inning. We would have been out of that."

Eight players from Calvert Hall missed yesterday's game for violating team policy.

The Cardinals (2-0) took advantage of six walks and two passed balls in the first four innings to take the five-run lead. Sophomore pitcher Michael Dillon held the Gaels to just three hits in that span before Mount St. Joseph mounted its rally.

Mount St. Joseph pitcher Sean Kennedy, who relieved starter Bryan Hamilton in the fourth inning, helped his cause by doubling home two runs to tie the game with two outs in the fifth inning. The Gaels (1-1) then took the lead when catcher Max Kelly was able to score Hamilton with a sharp infield ground ball.

Mount St. Joseph pitchers only gave up four hits in the game, but they allowed eight walks and hit another three batters. Each team committed two errors.

"You really can't gear what your team is going to be like this time of year," Gaels coach Dave Norton said. "As far as our kids go, we went down 5-0, but we never gave up."

The Cardinals regained a 7-6 lead in the sixth inning on third baseman Michael Ford's two-run double to the left field corner. Ford was convinced those would be the winning runs, but the Gaels were able to tie the game on a one-out single by Nick Natoli.

Calvert Hall's 33-game unbeaten streak remains intact.

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