On Monday, Calvert Hall dropped its conference home-opener to Spalding — a result that did not sit well with Cardinals coach Lou Eckerl.
"We had a bit of a prayer meeting after the game," Eckerl said with a smile. "I didn't like the way we played, especially defensively. We challenged them to play better."
It evidently worked. Playing Mount St. Joseph (2-3, 1-1) on Thursday, top-ranked Calvert Hall got a one-hit, complete game shutout by senior David Gately and some timely offense to defeat the No. 3 Gaels, 3-0, in a key early-season Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference game.
"I was really nervous when we got here," said Gately, whose only blemish was a first-inning single by Andre Brown. "Mount St. [Joseph] has a great team, and I never expected this. I just wanted to go out and pitch well and hope for the best."
The Cardinals got on the board in the second inning when. Greg Carter got a one-out single, and then stole second. After a fly-out by Nick Delp advanced Carter to third, a single by Jack Finn plated him to give Calvert Hall a 1-0 lead.
The Cardinals (5-1, 1-1) increased their lead in the next inning. Tyler Webster touched up Gaels starter Peter Solomon for a one-out double and Calvert Hall wasted little time, using a single by Troy Stokes in the next at-bat to double their lead.
The final run came in a little more dramatic fashion. After a ground out and a strikeout by Solomon to begin the fourth, the pitcher tried to sneak a fastball by Delp. The junior wouldn't have it, however, as he deposited the pitch over the right field fence to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead.
"He threw me a curve ball that missed, so I knew he was going to come back with a fastball," Delp said. "I waited on it and he threw it up and out. I just went with the pitch."
Solomon finished the game with eight strikeouts.
Eckerl said he wasn't surprised by Gately's effort. The senior finished with nine strikeouts.
"He's a real competitor," Eckerl said. "He wants the ball, and he wants to do well. He used his fastball, curveball, and splitter well, and it kept them off balance all day. Our defense also played well behind him."
Eckerl said it was good for Calvert Hall to get their first conference win.
"This will be a very competitive league this year," he said. "Each team has at least one good front-line pitcher, and they tend to throw them against the other good pitchers. Solomon is a good pitcher, and we were fortunate to get to him today.
1 Calvert Hall 3, 3 Mount St. Joseph 0
CH 011 100 0 – 3 6 0
MSJ 000 000 0 - 0 1 0
Gately and J. Finn; Solomon, Wilson (7) and Caporlette. HR: CH – Delp. 2B: CH – Webster.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun