Down 4-3 after Greg Smoot's bases-empty homer in the bottom of the third, No. 2-ranked Mount St. Joseph rallied for three runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth on the way to an 8-4 victory over No. 3 Calvert Hall at Joe Cannon Stadium in Harmans Park last night.
Catcher John Kotofski's infield hit scored the first two runs of the three-run fifth to put the Gaels (11-3) on top to stay and starter Gavin Floyd with help from reliever John Ritt shut down the Cardinals (10-4) the rest of the way.
It was the first meeting of the season between the perennial top teams in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) A Conference, and the victory was especially gratifying to the Gaels and coach Dave Norton.
Mount St. Joe won four of five games to finish runner-up in the Valley Invitational in Louisville, Ky., last week. Returning home to Baltimore Saturday, the Gaels found out that their big A Conference game with the Hall had been moved to Anne Arundel County's Cannon Stadium last night.
Calvert Hall is renovating its field this season and had been playing home games at Redwood Park in Loch Raven, but coach Joe Binder was able to move the game to Cannon last night.
"We played five games in four days in Louisville and had to come back here in a big conference game and be ready to play with the time of the game changed [from 4 to 7.30 p.m.], and we didn't know it was supposed to be in the evening," said Norton, who was ejected in the third inning arguing over a checked swing.
"We had to adjust to that and were kind of slow getting out of the gate, but came back and played aggressive baseball."
Calvert Hall took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first off Floyd, the sophomore who was working on only three days' rest for the first time this season.
St. Joe answered with three runs in the top of the second before Smoot's booming homer off Floyd gave the Redbirds the lead in the third.
The Gaels made a winner out of Floyd with their big fifth inning. Stevie Brown's one-out double put runners on second and third, setting up Kotofski's big hit. The St. Joe catcher rifled a shot up the middle that went off second baseman Danny Sorrells' glove to score the pair.
Later in the inning, the Gaels executed the first-and-third "sucker play" for their sixth run. When the Hall's left-handed first baseman Brad Williams ran at the runner, Chris Spilker, who got intentionally hung up between first and second, Brown scored easily in the rundown.
The Mount added two more runs in the sixth on a dropped fly ball that scored Allen Strick and Brown's second double of the game off reliever Ryan Kyle drove in a run.
Strick had singled and, running on a pitch, went all the way to third on a wild pitch. Binder removed starter and loser junior Brent Gossman after Strick's run.
Pub Date: 4/13/99