Calvert Hall 16, McDonogh 12. This is not a lacrosse score.
The third installment of what has been a riotous series between the two Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference powers came in the winners' bracket of the league's double- elimination tournament at third-ranked Calvert Hall yesterday.
The two-time defending champion Cardinals (24-5) survived a slugfest that featured 16 hits by each team, with both sides getting nine extra-base hits and each using three pitchers.
A first-round 10-6 winner over Gilman on Thursday, Calvert Hall earned a berth in Wednesday's title game at Essex Community College vs. Tuesday's McDonogh-Mount St. Joseph winner. St. Joe, a 12-2 winner over Gilman yesterday, was relegated to the losers' bracket after Thursday's 7-3 loss to McDonogh.
Calvert Hall needs only one win on Wednesday to claim its 10th title under 19-year coach Joe Binder, while its opponent will need two.
Yesterday's loss by coach Chet Janiga's McDonogh (15-8) team ended an exciting run for the Eagles, who had won 14 of their last 15 games, including 15-14 and 3-2 victories over the Cardinals.
One previous meeting with the Cardinals featured a combined 28 hits; the other, tied at 1-1 when it was called due to darkness on April 3, wasn't completed until last Tuesday.
"It's always a nail-biter when we play these guys," said third-baseman Greg DeBoy, who was 3-for-4 and lacked only a home run for the cycle. "You've got to give it up for those guys. They can play, and I think we'll see them again."
Yesterday, Calvert Hall had three doubles, DeBoy's triple and five home runs, including a solo shot and a grand slam -- both by junior Greg Smoot. Smoot also had a home run vs. Gilman, giving him three in two days.
"I've been sitting back on the ball, taking my time," said Smoot, whose one-out, fifth-inning grand slam gave the Cardinals a 14-9 lead. "I've been trying to hit the ball harder, and I guess I've been pretty successful at it."
Mike Wineke (3-for-3), Mike Ey (2-for-4, with a double) and Justin Nash (2-for-3) also had home runs for Calvert Hall, while Joe Marcozzi went 3-for-3, with a double, a walk and was hit by a pitch.
McDonogh, meanwhile, had nine doubles, with two each from Jeremy Brown (3-for-4, four RBIs), Rick Faint (3-for-4, with a walk) and J.R. Hadaway (2-for-5).
Tim Heller (2-for-3), Cap Poklemba and Bradd Caplan also doubled for the Eagles, and Eric Scherr was 2-for-4.
Asked if Smoot's grand slam was the turning point, Brown said: "There's never a turning point with us until the very last out and the entire game's finished."
Calvert Hall overcame a 3-0 deficit for the second straight game, this time in the first inning. But the Cardinals used a four-run, four-hit third inning to go up 5-3. McDonogh led 6-5, however, after a four-hit, three-run fourth.
The Cardinals led 10-6 after a five-hit, five-run fourth that included home runs by Ey, Wineke and Smoot. But the Eagles responded, yet again, in their three-hit fifth, coming within 10-9.
Mount St. Joseph 12, Gilman 2: Left-hander Michael O'Connor (8-2) went the distance, gave up two runs, five hits, two walks and struck out five as the Gaels (18-12) eliminated the visiting Greyhounds in the second round of the MIAA A playoffs.
Mark Teixeria went 3-for-4, scored twice, had two RBIs and two homers, one right-handed and one left-handed.
Mount St. Joseph faces McDonogh on Tuesday.
Pub Date: 5/23/98