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Catonsville baseball holds off host Lansdowne after building big lead

Catonsville junior Mark Brady had four hits and five RBIs and senior Ben Hall came in for a save in the bottom of the seventh inning as the visiting Comets (6-1) held off Lansdowne, 9-8, on Monday afternoon.

The Vikings (1-6) trailed 9-3 after five innings, but rallied with a run in the sixth and four in the seventh, before Hall, the sixth pitcher for the Comets, put out the fire.

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The seventh inning began with George Berbakos on the mound.

Gavin Kolb (2-for-4) led off with a single and scored on a single by Jerald Hurt (3-for-4, home run, 2 stolen bases) after he advanced on a wild pitch.

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Hurt stole second and Nick White walked, before Chase Redden singled Hurt home, making it 9-6.

Hall relieved Berbakos and Jonah Barney hit a rocket to shortstop that Brady made a fine play to get an out.

White scored on the play and the eight run came home after an error on the relay back to the pitcher.

The next batter, Landon Barber, drilled the next pitch to deep right field, but Berbakos tracked it down and Hall fanned the final batter to end the game.

Catonsville coach Eric Warm praised the defensive plays of Brady and Berbakos in the final inning.

“We had two big plays, Brady making that play, which wasn’t easy, and George making that play in right field,” Warm said.

Brady admitted it was a tough ball to corrall.

“The runner came in front of me and then I kind of lost it for a second and then it went straight into the dirt and I had to adjust,” Brady said.

Brady adjusted at the plate as well.

Hurt gave the Vikings a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a long homer to right.

“He doesn’t leave himself cheap on the swings,” Warm said. “He’s swinging as hard as he can. He crushed that ball.”

Catonsville got the equalizer in the top of the third after Adam Bailey led off with a single and scored one out later on an opposite-field triple by Brady to right.

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“It kind of took a weird bounce and it just kept going,” Brady said.

The score was still tied with two outs and nobody on when a Lansdowne error kept the inning alive.

The Comets went on to score five runs in the inning and take a 6-1 lead.

“We play six good innings of baseball and that one bad inning kills us every time,” said Hurt, who was on the mound when the five unearned runs scored.

Lansdowne senior Jerald Hurt was the starting pitcher and he also hit a home run and stole two bases in the Vikings' 9-8 loss to Catonsville.
Lansdowne senior Jerald Hurt was the starting pitcher and he also hit a home run and stole two bases in the Vikings' 9-8 loss to Catonsville. (Nicole Munchel For Baltimore Sun / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

“We have the physical talent, we need to work on our mental part is going to hurt us.”

Hurt didn’t finish the frame, but struck out five in 3 1/3 innings.

Hunter Jackson relieved him and struck out seven.

“We struck out a lot more today then we have in the past,” Warm said. “I think our guys are just trying to do a little too much.”

The Comets scored three more runs in the top of the fifth with Brady’s single to left scoring two and courtesy runner Ethan Boyce scoring on a wild pitch.

“I was 1-2 and I was just looking to put the ball in play and it was inside and I just drove it,” Brady said.

Warm has high expectations for his number two hitter.

“We’ve scored almost 10 runs in every game this year and he’s batting second in our lineup for a reason,” Warm said. “He is just one of our top hitters and he’s been doing a great job all year, in practice, on the field, he’s just keeping it all going.”

Lansdowne’s first-year coach Mike Corn lamented the fact his team lost another close game.

“We have six losses and all but one or two are by one or two runs and in every one of those losses we can pick one inning where we fall apart,” Corn said. “That’s been the theme, we play really, really strong baseball for six innings of every game and we have not been able to overcome that one inning.”

Warm, whose Comets host Dulaney on Tuesday afternoon, praised the way the hosts rallied.

“They did a nice job putting the bat on the ball. They put it in play,” Warm said. “They are definitely a feisty team.”

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