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No. 3 McDonogh routs No. 4 Mt. St. Joe, 19-3


Kenny Cloude did it all yesterday as third-ranked McDonogh (11-2) whipped visiting and No. 4 Mount St. Joseph (12-3), 19-3.

It marked the second time this season that McDonogh routed the Gaels. McDonogh had won, 11-2, in the first meeting.

The victory left the Eagles 10-1 in Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference, a game up on Calvert Hall (9-2) and two ahead of St. Joe (7-3).

Cloude (5-2), the ace of the defending MSA A Conference champions' pitching staff, was sharp in the early innings (retiring the first seven batters) and didn't give up any runs until the final two innings, long after the outcome was obvious.

Working on just three days rest after he hadshut out Loyola, 3-0, Thursday, the McDonogh senior right-hander finished with a five-hitter, seven strikeouts and two walks.

At the plate, Cloude was 5-for-5, including a bases-loaded triple and a bunt hit, two stolen bases, four runs scored and four RBI.

"Kenny's tough and wants to throw a no-hitter every time he goes out there," said McDonogh coach Al Poklemba.

"I think if the game had been closer, he would have shut them down completely."

The game was close until the fourth inning when the host Eagles took advantage of two Gaels' errors, got four hits -- including a two-run triple by sophomore catcher Jeremy Seipel (2-for-4) -- and scored six runs off losing pitcher Tim Trotta.

With the six-run inning, the Eagles increased their lead to 9-0 with Cloude working on a one-hitter through four innings. Cloude scored McDonogh's first run after starting the bottom of the second with a single to center and proceeding to steal second and third before scoring on Richie Levin's base hit.

McDonogh added two more in the third with Cloude's bunt for a hit loading the bases with nobody out. Trotta couldn't handle Seipel's swinging bunt in front of the plate and Dennis Badham (2-for-3, two runs), who started the inning with a single, scored. Cloude later scored on Levin's sacrifice fly to left.

The fourth inning was disastrous for Trotta, the first of four pitchers, and St. Joe. In the final two McDonogh at-bats, the hosts tacked on 10 more runs. Two walks and three errors led to five runs in the fifth, and Cloude's triple with the bases full highlighted a five-run, sixth inning.

"We came out and hit the ball the way we prepared for this game," said Poklemba.

"We knew Trotta threw the ball from the side [sidearm, submarine style] and we took three hours of batting practice against that yesterday [Sunday]."

Poklemba had all his batting practice pitchers frequently drop down before delivering the pitch, and the extra work paid off.

"I wasn't overpowering today, but our players were positioned greatly throughout the game and you can attribute that to our coaches," said Cloude.

There was only one ball that the Eagles were not in position to catch and that was because St. Joe first baseman Buddy Edmond hit the ball so far and so deep to right-center for a bases-empty homer in the seventh.

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