Calvert Hall stretched its winning streak to four games with a 12-11 victory over Gilman on Wednesday, but it wasn't easy despite an eight-run lead at one point.
Gilman scored five times in the bottom of the sixth to pull within a run in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference slugfest in Roland Park. But Calvert Hall senior right-hander Manny Rodriguez made that one-run lead stand up by striking out the side in the seventh on 11 pitches to earn the save.
“He (Rodriguez) throws harder than our other pitchers,” Calvert Hall coach Lou Eckerl said. “So I thought it would be a good move for us. I couldn’t have asked for anything more from him. He threw his curveball and fastball for strikes to get us out of a big jam.”
David Gately picked up the victory, but wasn’t helped by a Cardinals defense that committed five errors. He gave up nine hits and 10 runs (five earned) in 5 1/3 innings while walking two and striking out four batters.
Gately had a 12-4 lead to work with after the Cardinals (10-2 overall, 3-2 league) scored seven runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth.
Senior center fielder Troy Stokes (3-for-5, 4 RBIs, 3 runs scored) highlighted the fourth with a grand slam, and Gately helped his own cause with run-scoring double in the fifth.
Nick Delp (2-for-3, 2 RBIs, 2 doubles) and Brandon Dorsey (2-for-4, 2 RBIs) also contributed for Calvert Hall.
“I was hoping 12 runs was going to be enough,” Eckerl said with a laugh. “And that we weren’t going to make any more errors.”
Gilman cut the lead to 12-6 in the fifth on run-scoring singles from starting pitcher Danny Blair and catcher Matt Slodzinski, who also hit a two-run homer in the third.
The Greyhounds (6-7, 2-3) pushed across five more runs in the sixth on three hits, two walks and two errors before putting the tying run on third in John Fitzgerald (2-for-4, 2 RBIs) with one out.
But Travis Brown, who replaced Gately five batters into the inning, struck out Alex Mardiney and got Drew Ehrlich to ground out, avoiding further damage.
Then Rodriguez pitched the seventh to help Calvert Hall win its third one-run game of the season.
“We came back and had some opportunities,” said Gilman coach Larry Sheets, whose team will play Calvert Hall again Friday in Towson at 7 p.m. “But we left a lot of runs out there. They gave us a few, but we left a lot out there.”