Calvert Hall catcher Garrett Matheny knows he'll never play the perfect baseball game, but Monday he came pretty close.
The senior, who will play baseball for Radford next year, went 5-for-5 with a home run, a triple, three singles and four RBIs to lead the visiting and top-ranked Cardinals to a 13-0 shellacking of Loyola Blakefield (8-9, 8-5) in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference game.
To say that Calvert Hall is peaking might be an understatement. In the past three games, the Cardinals (20-2, 13-2) have outscored their opponents 42-0, and both the hitting and pitching are contributing.
"We played well in all four facets of the game today," Calvert Hall manager Lou Eckerl said. "We have worked extremely hard to get better, and I think — or at least I hope — we are peaking at the right time. It's even more special to play this well against your rival."
The Cardinals scored in the top of the first, when a single by Matheny scored Brendan Webster from third for a 1-0 lead. Calvert Hall, however, couldn't add to that because of a great pitching effort by Loyola's Carson Barnes. Barnes held the Cardinals scoreless the next three innings, and Loyola trailed by just 1-0 entering the fifth.
Calvert Hall pitcher Brennan Maher was even better. Maher gave up only two first-inning singles and appeared to be in command for most of the day. He pitched the first five innings before giving way to Daniel O'Connor for the last two.
The Cardinals added to their lead in the fifth. With two outs and runners on second and third, Matheny tripled to score Jose Torres and Joseph Murphy for a 3-0 lead.
Calvert Hall blew the game open in the sixth. After Barnes was replaced by Cristian Cariello late in the fifth, the Cardinals wasted little time feasting on his pitches. Calvert Hall scored four more runs on five hits — the biggest of which were triples by Spencer Blair and Webster — to take a 7-0 lead.
The Cardinals added six more in the seventh.
"We've been working hard in the cage, and I think we were a little tired in the early innings," Matheny said. "I thought we stuck together well all day and we forced them into making the mistakes. The first time we played them, we came back and won, 4-3, on a walk-off in the seventh. Today we did a little better."
Maher says teamwork is driving the Cardinals' streak.
"Everybody is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done, whether it be a sacrifice or a bunt," Maher said. "I think we are peaking at exactly the right time, and what you see now is only a sign of things to come."
CH 100 024 6 – 13 14 0
LY 000 000 0 -- 0 3 1
Maher, O'Conner (6) and Matheny; Barnes, Cariello (5), Stabb (7), Krack (7) and Spalt. HR: CH – Murphy, Matheny. 3B: CH - Matheny, Blair, Webster. 2B: CH – Polling.