TOWSON -- It's been some kind of year for Tom Lind's baseball team at Archbishop Spalding, but yesterday was just one of those days.
The Cavaliers booted nearly as many balls as they fielded en route to a 13-0 loss to Calvert Hall in the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference tournament.
The loss ended Spalding's season at 12-11 and gave the home-standing Cardinals a chance at McDonogh, which remains the only team unbeaten in the double-elimination tournament.
"I don't know what happened to us today," said second baseman Jeff Paxson, gathering his gear in an effort to get home in time to prepare for Spalding's prom. "We have a lot of holes, but we're not as bad as we played today."
Spalding's defensive woes started early, and five first-inning errors resulted in five unearned runs for the Cardinals.
The Cavaliers, who lost to Calvert Hall in two regular-season meetings and by 14-2 in their first-round tournament loss last Wednesday, loaded the bases in the third following a single by Mickey Wist and a pair of walks by Brian Matz, but all was for naught as an impatient Paxson went down chasing pitches.
Calvert Hall manufactured three more runs in the third with a little help from the visitors. Senior right-hander Pat Calabrese opened the inning by striking out Justin Kaminski. But catcher Fabian Diliamy dropped the third strike and tossed it over first baseman Gary Hnyla's head. That came back to haunt the Cavs when Chris Lamon singled in Kaminski, who had advanced to second when Calabrese's pick-off throw sailed wide right of Hnyla's target.
One batter later, Calvert Hall took an 8-0 lead, thanks to a two-run shot over the right-field fence by sophomore Adam Roberts.
"A couple of things happened here and there, what are you going to do?' " Calabrese asked. "We didn't hit the ball, and how can you win if you don't score any runs? Matz pitched a good game. I try not to look at the negative side. I'm just glad we got this far."
"If we had stayed in the game, something might have happened," said Lind, whose team yielded eight unearned runs. "We just collapsed in general.
"They just didn't rise to the occasion. You can't make excuses. They just played a bad game. Calabrese pitched decently, and once their pitcher [Matz] gets ahead, all he has to do is throw pipers."
And that's what Matz did, striking out four in a four-hit shutout that raised his record to 8-2.
The Cavaliers got on Matz in the top of the fourth when Hnyla doubled to right-center and Diliamy followed with a single to left, but the Cards senior ace got out of the inning unscathed, leaving Cavaliers stranded at the corners.
"All we wanted to do was keep it tight," said Lind, whose team stayed alive in the tournament by upsetting Mount St. Joseph, 7-6, in extra innings last week. "All the pressure was on them to beat us. If we win it's gravy. We just haven't played well against this team."
Afterward, Calvert Hall coach Tom Binder had nothing but respect for Lind and his squad.
"Spalding doesn't have the number of kids that we do at Calvert Hall, but I think Tommy Lind did a nice job with them," said Binder, whose team was coming off a disappointing 18-10 loss to McDonogh.
"They have a good team and they have good talent, but they just don't have enough. There are many schools who don't want anything to do with the A Conference, and I take my hat off to [Spalding]. They've taken their lumps a bit, but they've hung in there."