Emotion is an intangible that often means the difference between victory and defeat in high school sports. Mount St. Joseph had it in yesterday's MIAA A Conference semifinal, visiting McDonogh did not.
The result was a 12-0 lead after three innings of an eventual 14-4 blowout that included 17 hits by the Gaels (19-12), who meet Calvert Hall in today's title game at Essex Community College at 3: 45. St. Joe (2-1 in the round robin tournament) must defeat Calvert Hall (2-0) twice.
McDonogh (15-9), coming off a 16-hit effort in Friday's loss at Calvert Hall, was silenced by left-hander Mike O'Connor (9-2), who had 10 strikeouts and allowed run-scoring singles by Kirk Robertson and Eric Scherr, and Sean Semesky's two-run single among six hits.
Gaels' third baseman Mark Teixeira was 2-for-4 with four RBIs, and Mike Floyd, 1-for-3, with three RBIs, including a two-run home run.
"We'll come out swinging [today]," said Floyd. "It'll be fun."
Floyd has a team-high 42 RBIs, followed by 34 from Teixeira, whose 11 home runs this season (28 career) are one shy of the single-season state record.
"But it wasn't just Mike and Tex, it was 1 through 9 today," said No. 2 batter Paul Kern, who was 4-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored. "We're playing really well as a team right now."
Shortstop Alan Strick was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI, and first baseman Joe Hargadon, 2-for-2 with two doubles and two RBIs. No. 8 batter Vince Volpe had a run-scoring single, and No. 9 Reggie Chambers, a run-scoring triple as all but one St. Joe player had a hit.
Leadoff batter Jimmy Dunn (3-for-4, three runs scored) said Eagles left-hander Bradd Caplan "humiliated us" in last Thursday's 7-3 victory, inducing a grounder by Teixeira and striking out Floyd with two and three runners on, respectively.
But Caplan (9-2) lasted 2 1/3 innings yesterday before being pulled.
"We read his pitches, sat back and ripped 'em," said Dunn.
Pub Date: 5/27/98