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Calvert Hall fights way into MIAA final Cardinals to meet Gilman after holding off Mount St. Joe, 9-8

THE BALTIMORE SUN

One day after rallying from a six-run deficit to defeat Curley and stay alive in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference playoffs, Calvert Hall wanted an easier time yesterday.

The Cardinals got it -- sort of.

Randy Hohenstein, Rob Stastny and Matt Schruefer each had three hits and two RBIs to help No. 6 Calvert Hall grab an early six-run lead, but the visiting Cardinals needed to hold off a late rally from No. 2 Mount St. Joseph for a 9-8 victory in a third-round playoff game.

The victory advanced Calvert Hall (20-10) to the championship round today against No. 4 Gilman (18-4) at Catonsville Community College at 3: 45 p.m.

One win gives Gilman the title, but the Cardinals -- who have won three straight MIAA (or MSA) titles and seven of the last eight -- must win twice.

Calvert Hall did not need any big rallies in this game, taking an early 4-0 lead and stretching it to 6-0 before St. Joe rallied.

"We didn't want to put ourselves in a hole again," said Calvert Hall coach Joe Binder. "Today, hopefully, we wouldn't do the same thing."

Joe Pease went the distance for Calvert Hall and used a sharp curveball to stifle the Mount St. Joe (26-6) batters before tiring in the final two innings.

The Cardinals also got some stellar defense, especially from first baseman Chuck Easter, who made three great scoops of low throws that saved some runs. Easter also made a diving catch of a pop-up for the game's final out.

The Cardinals jumped on top quickly, as Stastny's infield single brought in Michael Jenkins (2-for-4, three runs) for a 1-0 lead in the first.

Dale Berkey (2-for-4, two RBIs) and Schruefer (3-for-5, two RBIs) added RBI singles in the second for a 3-0 lead. Hohenstein (3-for-3, two RBIs) singled in Ryan Tolson for a 4-0 lead after three.

"We felt it was important to get out early and take the lead," said Hohenstein. "We figured it we got going early, it was our game to win."

Schruefer and Stastny (3-for-4, two RBIs) added RBI singles in the sixth for the 6-0 lead. With Pease having allowed just three hits through five innings, the Cardinals appeared in good shape.

Mount St. Joe rallied in the sixth. The Gaels had several chances to score earlier -- leaving runners on second and third in the second and the bases loaded in the third -- but Brendan Mahoney (3-for-4) finally got things going, sparking a four-run inning with an RBI double.

Calvert Hall then stretched its lead to 9-4 with three runs in the seventh before St. Joe rallied for four more in the bottom half.

Against a tiring Pease, Mark Teixeira and Mahoney led off the inning with singles before Andrew Maggio smacked a three-run homer to left field.

Michael Couser followed two outs later with a solo homer to the same spot, but Pease hung on to retire Matt O'Donnell on a pop-up for the final out.

The Gaels also did not have the best of luck. While all four of their errors led to runs, bad-hop hits helped the Cardinals score twice and led to another run.

"In the playoffs, not only do you have to be good, you have to be lucky," said St. Joe coach Dave Norton. "We just weren't lucky."

John Carroll 3, Maret 2: Tim Decapite pitched a six-hitter and Brian Kelly, Tom Close and Matt Delaney each doubled as host John Carroll (11-10) edged Maret (D.C.) in a second-round game of the Maryland State Private Schools B Division Tournament. John Carroll plays host to Bullis or Georgetown Day today at 4 p.m.

Pub Date: 5/22/96

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