On a cold, blustery Thursday afternoon, with wind gusts that stirred up miniature dirt twisters, Mount Saint Joseph senior pitcher Patrick Bauer remained calm and steady on the mound and fired a two-hitter in the host Gaels’ 4-1 victory over Calvert Hall in Irvington.
Bauer struck out eight and walked four in the complete game. “This is definitely the best outing he’s had this year,” Mount Saint Joseph coach Phil Kraska said.
Bauer was unfazed by the conditions.
“It’s just kind of going out there and doing what you normally do,” said the 6-foot-7 right-hander from Catonsville. “Weather makes it harder for the other team, so you just kind of go out there and execute sometimes.”
The Gaels didn’t commit any errors behind him.
“Great pitching performance, great defense, and today we were able to put something up offensively enough, so I’m real proud of them,” Kraska said.
Junior shortstop Zach Wainio had five assists to lead the flawless Gaels defense.
When the Cardinals weren’t putting the ball in play, senior catcher Mike Sweeney was enjoying the putouts.
“It’s always fun when ... he’s placing his fastball, placing his curveball and placing his slider,” Sweeney said. “Missing by that much on a couple pitches and he was getting them to chase at some high, outside fastballs, and he was just spotting up and they were getting down in the counts and they couldn’t do much with it.”
The Cardinals’ first hit came with one out in the second inning when Alex Kahn doubled home Scott Borgmann, who had walked with one out.
Januel Wispi-Robles walked, putting runners on first and second, but Bauer wriggled out of the jam with a strikeout and flyout.
“To get out of that inning, I didn’t really feel any pressure because I knew their lineup and they are a super-patient team, so I’m going to be able to get ahead most of the time,” Bauer said. “So, if I can just go right back at them, it’s going to be pretty easy.”
Calvert Hall didn’t get another hit until John Harris singled with two outs in the seventh.
“Hats off to them, they played very well and we didn’t,” Calvert Hall coach Lou Eckerl said. “Too many strikeouts, we didn’t put the ball in play, and too many errors. If we don’t make four errors or whatever, it would have been 1-1. It would have been a great game. Our pitchers did a good job too.”
The Gaels jumped on top 1-0 in the bottom of the first when Tanner Vicendese reached on an error, was bunted to second by Wainio and scored on a one-out double by Travis Leatherwood.
After Calvert Hall evened the score in the second inning, the Gaels took the lead for good in the bottom of the third, taking advantage of three Calvert Hall errors and a hit by Josh Lantz for a 2-1 lead.
The Gaels extended the lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth after a leadoff walk to Joey Willis and single to right by Sweeney started the inning.
Greg Conley bunted them over and CaMaury Arrington drove in one run with a single and Vicendese plated the other with a base hit.
The Gaels didn’t score again the rest of the way against Calvert Hall starter Khan and relievers Ryan Seifert and Jack Kerr.
Sweeney, the only Gael to get two hits, lined a second single to right field in the fifth inning.
The Morning Sun
“I’ve been coming off a cold streak hitting-wise, but I’ve been thinking opposite field and that worked for me today,” Sweeney said.
His pitcher worked for him as well.
“He [Bauer] did a really good job,” Calvert Hall’s Eckerl said. “They are having a good year, they are together, they are playing well. They beat us for a second time. Hats off to them.”
The Gaels won the first meeting, 7-3.
“We are in a little bit of a funk. I can’t put my finger on what it is, but we are just going to keep battling and hopefully, we will be able to pull it together at the end,” Eckerl said.
Meanwhile, Kraska enjoyed this victory and the leadership of his senior battery.
“Our seniors are really leading us this year, so those guys are doing a great job all around, and today we figured out some things offensively,” he said. “We lost a lot of tight games because of lack of offense, and today we got it done enough to get it done.”