It was a wild day for Colin McGonigal.
The Mount St. Joseph pitcher struggled with his control, walking six batters, throwing four wild pitches and going to full counts on six batters.
But McGonigal also made several good pitches, allowing only two hits in six innings as host and No. 6 Mount St. Joseph defeated St. Albans (D.C.), 6-2, in the championship game of the Lead-Off Tournament yesterday.
The Gaels advanced to the championship after beating Fallston, 10-5.
The junior pitcher relied mostly on his fastball against St. Albans. Gusts of wind wreaked havoc with his big curveball and it rarely found the strike zone, but McGonigal repeatedly threw strikes with low fastballs.
"I went six innings with just my fastball," said McGonigal. "I just tried to bear down and pitch my game and pitch as well I could."
And he pitched very well, allowing only two hits in six innings. McGonigal carried a no-hitter into the fifth, but Teddy Sullivan broke it up with a two-out, two-run single.
"He's a good thrower, and he's got a good live arm," said Mount St. Joe coach Dave Norton. "Overall, he did a great job."
Being staked to an early lead also helped McGonigal. St. Joe (11-2) took advantage of pitcher Andrew Huling's control problems for an early 5-0 lead.
Leading off the bottom of the first, Dan Rosewag and Michael Couser walked. With Bill McGuire up, Huling's wild pitch moved the runners to second and third.
McGuire then knocked in Rosewag and Couser with a single to center. Pat Bowen later moved tournament MVP McGuire (a total of two hits, three RBIs and four runs scored) to third before Skinner brought him in with a sacrifice fly for a quick 3-0 lead.
The Gaels, who finished with only six hits, added two more in the third. With runners on first and second and two outs, Skinner got a wind-blown single to short center. McGuire scored on the play, and Bowen did the same when Teddy Sullivan misfired on a throw to third.
McGonigal, meanwhile, was rolling along. St. Albans (6-3) put runners in scoring position in each of the first four innings thanks to walks and wild pitches.
The Bulldogs left runners at second in the first and second innings. They then left a runner on third in the third and runners at the corners in the fourth.
"We definitely had our chances," said St. Albans coach Dave Baad. "We've driven runs in in important situations this season, but we didn't do it today."
The Bulldogs broke up the no-hitter and got on the scoreboard in the fifth. Still trailing, 5-0, two walks helped St. Albans put runners at second and third with two out. Teddy Sullivan then got a seeing-eye single to left, scoring both runners.
But McGonigal settled down after that, retiring four of the final five batters he faced. McGuire came in and closed out the victory in the seventh.
Mount St. Joe did better offensively in its first-round, 10-5 victory over Fallston. The Gaels came up with four extra-base hits -- including a McGuire homer.
Fallston (2-9), meanwhile, had its share of hits. The Cougars outhit the Gaels (12-11), and used a triple from Bill Lobig and a double from Chris Leonard.
St. Albans defeated Bel Air, 7-1, in the other first-round game. Danny Sullivan went the distance and threw a four-hitter for the Bulldogs. But Bel Air (7-3) bounced back to top Fallston, 10-7, in ++ the consolation game.