Calvert Hall's Spencer Sutton receives congratulations… (Baltimore Sun photo by Gene…)
Calvert Hall coach Lou Eckerl said over the weekend that he was "miffed" over the way his team had been hitting recently.
It certainly didn't help matters that the slump had occurred right in the middle of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference playoffs.
In Monday's must-win game against Archbishop Spalding, however, the Cardinals eased their coaches' minds a bit, as their bats exploded for a 13-3 victory at Ripken Stadium.
The Cardinals and Cavaliers, who emerged from the winner's bracket, will play for the championship today at 4 p.m. at Ripken Stadium. Calvert Hall is going for its 26th conference title, while Spalding will try to get its first in the A Conference.
"I haven't changed anything — the same batting practice, same kind of stuff we've always been doing, and that's why I couldn't put my finger on it," Eckerl said. "I think we were just a little tense. This is the seventh straight year we've been here and that's a tribute to these guys and the passion they have for the game and the way we've been coaching."
Calvert Hall sophomore pitcher Andrew Witczak allowed three runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and no walks.
"I was proud to pitch for our school today," Witczak said. "Spalding is a very good baseball team. But we put a lot of runs on the board. My offense is just ridiculous this year. I'm just proud."
The Cardinals (28-8) took control with five runs on six singles in the third. Alex Pastorius and Matt Bosse each had RBI singles, and then Kevin Baron knocked in two more runs when he lined a hard shot up the middle for a 4-0 lead. Dustin Rothschild added another run with a single to right field.
The Cavaliers (18-4) got a run back in the bottom half of that inning on a sacrifice fly by Sean Miller. However, Calvert Hall answered by scoring six more times in the fourth, including a three-run, 404-foot double by Spencer Sutton and another double by Baron. Pinch hitter Christian Burton also had an RBI single in the inning.
Alex Murphy and Sutton then unloaded deep homers in the fifth for a 13-1 lead. It was Murphy's 10th home run and Sutton's sixth this season. The Cardinals have 55 homers as a team.
Derrick Wells homered for the Cavaliers in the fifth. The game was then delayed for 41 minutes because of lightning. When play resumed, Nick Freeberger hit an RBI double to cut the score to 13-3.
"It was a great win," Sutton said. "We came out here with the right intensity and really hit the ball. The way we hit the ball today is a statement."
Calvert Hall 005 62 - 13 12 1
Spalding 001 011 - 3 7 2
Witczak and Murphy; Wagner, Benitez (4) and Barclay. 2B: C-Sutton, Baron; S-Barclay, Freeburger. HR: C-Murphy, Sutton; S-Wells.