When Gavin Floyd pitches for Mount St. Joseph, it usually doesn't need a lot of runs to win. So, when the host Gaels scored nine in the first three innings yesterday, it was obvious Calvert Hall was in for a long afternoon.
Mixing his 90-mph fastball with a nasty curve in front of several radar gun-armed big-league scouts, Floyd (6-0) fired a one-hitter with eight strikeouts as the No. 4 Mount defeated 10th-ranked, but slumping Calvert Hall, 9-0.
Junior second baseman Joe Sargent lined a pair of homers over the fence in right-center for five runs, and Floyd helped his cause with a two-run double.
Floyd, a fluid-throwing, 6-foot-5, 195-pound junior right-hander who has given up two earned runs in 37 innings, missed a bid for his first varsity no-hitter when Dustin Sparks lined a 2-0 fastball for a double into right-center with one out in the seventh.
"I was getting a little tired and made it too good to hit," said Floyd, who threw 102 pitches, walked four and hit the first batter he faced yesterday in settling for his second straight one-hitter.
"My curveball was working real well today," he added, "and my fastball wasn't as fast as I usually throw, but I was hitting key spots, and still it's better than a lot of other kids."
The closest thing to a hit the Cardinals had to that point was a pop fly to shallow right by Mike Dziecichowicz leading off the fourth.
After a long run, second baseman Sargent got to the ball, but dropped it, though no one could fault Sargent, who had done more than his share with the bat.
The loss was the Cardinals' fourth in a row, leaving them 9-7 overall and 3-4 in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference.
"A couple of weeks ago, we were playing pretty well, and then a couple injuries and in-school problems, and we're, on a roller coaster, said Calvert Hall's veteran coach, Joe Binder.
The coach said he could not remember the last time his Cards, who have dominated the A Conference with 10 titles, nine in the past 12 years under him, were 3-4 in league play.
"We ran into a buzzsaw Sunday in Gloucester [N.J.] Catholic [a 15-3 loss] and turn around to face Gavin Floyd -- and when he's right, it's no question he's very good."
No argument from Gaels coach Dave Norton, whose team improved to 14-4 and to 5-2 in the conference, a game behind No. 8 St. Paul's, a 9-8 winner over Archbishop Spalding.
"Gavin was outstanding -- just one hit away-- and had great command of his pitches, " said Norton.