Nothing separated the Calvert Hall and Archbishop Curley baseball teams until the bottom of the sixth inning of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship final on Tuesday.
A miscommunication on a foul ball, gave Calvert Hall's Colin Gimblet a second chance at the plate with two out and a runner at second base. When Gimblet got his second chance, he used it, driving a single through the gap to center field, bringing home Alex Pastorius for the only run of the game . A half-inning later, Calvert Hall had won, 1-0, claiming its first title in three years.
After the final out, the Cardinals (29-6) stormed the field at Ripken Stadium in celebration and relief.
"It feels incredible to go out with a championship," said Pastorius, a senior . "Oh, my God. I have no words to describe this. It was so close, but I think the difference was never giving up, hustling and never getting down on ourselves. When they turned that double play in the fifth, it was a big blow, but we stuck together."
Besides being Calvert Hall's first championship in three years, it is also its sixth in the last eight and 26th overall. , The Cardinals had to beat Curley (20-11) twice in the championship series of the double-elimination tournament. Calvert Hall won, 6-4, on Sunday to force Tuesday's game.
Both teams had played brilliant baseball through 5 1/2 innings. Curley left fielder Zach Salkowski made what could have been a game-saving play in the fifth, fielding a fly ball and then making a perfect, one-hop throw to catcher Andrew Shinnick at the plate to tag out a Calvert Hall runner. The Friars also made the deflating double-play Pastorius earlier in the game , as sophomore pitcher Zack Ridgely and his defense stymied Calvert Hall through five innings.
"It was an absolute honor to be here against one of the best teams I've seen," Ridgely said. "My coach trusted me with the ball and we just came up short. It hurt. But they executed when they had the opportunity."
Calvert Hall pitcher John Mooney kept Curley guessing at the plate as the game remained scoreless until the sixth inning.
"That's baseball," Curley coach Brooks Norris said. "I don't want to talk about individual plays, but Zack pitched an incredible game. We played well and had plenty of guys in scoring position. But when Calvert Hall got a break they took advantage of it. I'm proud of our guys. We would have loved to win and I'm sad for our six seniors. But at the same time we're looking forward to next year. We've got a great thing going and we're going to build on this experience."
Annapolis Area Christian School wins B title
Senior pitcher Steven Ridings threw a three-hitter, singled and scored twice Tuesday night to lead the Annapolis Area Christian School to a 4-0 victory against St. Vincent Pallotti in the MIAA B Conference baseball final at Ripken Stadium.
"We've been here each of the last three years and this is the first time we've won," AACS coach Talbot Watkins said. "This was a big deal for us. This is our first championship in the MIAA."
AACS finishes the season 18-9, 15-2 in the conference. Pallotti, who won championships in 2005 and 2006, finishes 21-12, 12-7.