Visiting Gilman pounded out nine hits Wednesday night at Calvert Hall, but it was the Greyhounds' pitching that carried them in the second round of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference playoffs.
Joe Smeton pitched 5 2/3 innings of four-hit ball to lead visiting and second-ranked Gilman to a 3-2 win over the No. 1 Cardinals. The victory advances the Greyhounds to Sunday's conference final at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen. Calvert Hall will host Archbishop Curley today in the double-elimination tournament.
"I was pretty confident [in the pitches I was throwing]," said Smeton. We got the hits when we needed them, and this win will give us momentum we can carry over into Sunday."
Gavin Sheets led Gilman (25-10) with three hits, including a double.
The Greyhounds took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when they tried a double steal and the home plate umpire called a balk on Cardinals pitcher Andrew Witczak.
The Greyhounds padded the lead in the third. After Ben Grace singled and Sheets doubled to start the inning, Woitczak settled down to retire the next two batters. But Sean O'Donnell singled to score Grace, and a bases-loaded walk allowed Sheets to score and give Gilman a 3-0 lead.
The Cardinals (21-8) used Manny Gonzalez's triple and Troy Stokes' RBI to cut the lead to 3-1 in the fifth.
Calvert Hall managed to cut the lead to 3-2 in the seventh on a an RBI by Alex Murphy but could get no closer.
"This is a huge win for us," Sheets said. "There wasn't much room for error, but our pitching did a great job. [Joe] did a great job of minimizing the damage, and we got just enough offense to win."
Smeton said he had most of his pitches working, which allowed to get out of a few jams.
"I had good command of my off-speed stuff, and my two-seemer was working," he said. "I just tried to not let the pressure get to me and stay relaxed.
Calvert Hall had its opportunities, leaving two on base in the third and the bases loaded in the fourth.
No. 2 Gilman 3, No. 1 Calvert Hall 2
GL 012 000 0 – 3 9-2
CH 000 010 1 – 2 7 0
Smeton, Wey (6) and Slodzinski; Witchak, Boyd (4) and Murphy. 3B: CH – M. Rodriguez. 2B: G – Sheets; CH – Murphy.