Offensively, No. 6 Gilman has been one of the most dangerous teams in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association. Just not against Calvert Hall pitcher Dominic Sgroi.
For the second time this season, Sgroi stifled the Greyhounds' bats, going the distance as his No. 7 Cardinals gave him enough run support to secure a 3-0 victory at Carlo Crispino Stadium in Towson on Tuesday.
The Cardinals (17-7, 10-2 MIAA A Conference), now winners of seven straight conference games, maintained sole possession of first place in their league and moved two games ahead of the Greyhounds (17-5, 8-4) with the win. With just a handful of games left, Cardinals coach Lou Eckerl can taste a sixth straight league title.
"That's just one of our goals, ultimately," Eckerl said, "plus, there's still a lot of season left."
In his shutout, Sgroi allowed just three hits and struck out seven while yielding one walk. With the victory, he improved to 7-1 this year and 2-0 against Gilman, which he and Calvert Hall defeated, 5-2, on March23.
"I just tried to stay ahead of them," Sgroi said, "I know how dangerous they can be, especially when they're ahead in the count."
Matt Bosse certainly helped the Cardinals stay ahead, hitting a two-run homer in the bottom of the first to put Calvert Hall up for good. Kevin Baron's RBI single in the fifth gave his team more than enough insurance to finish off the Greyhounds.
The only time Gilman threatened was in the top of the sixth. The Greyhounds had runners on first and second with just one out and the heart of the order due up. Sgroi, however, ended the mini rally by forcing Ryan Ripken and Bryan Willis to ground out.
The middle of Gilman's order — a thorn in the side of many MIAA foes — went a combined 1-for-8 against Sgroi and the Cardinals.
"It hurts, sure," Gilman coach Larry Sheets said. "They're a great team, but so are we. We'll be fine."
G 000 000 0 — 040
CH 200 001x — 360
G — Ripken (5), Dunbar and Lauf; CH — Sgroi and Welling. HR: Bosse.