Defending Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference champion Mount St. Joseph badly needed a win in hosting top-ranked Calvert Hall in Irvington yesterday.
The Cardinals had been mesmerizing opponents during a 15-game winning streak, with nine of the wins coming in league play. Calvert Hall came into St. Joe averaging nearly 14 runs a game, and was ripe for an upset, but its ace, senior right-hander Rob Waskiewicz, didn't let it happen.
David Parks, a hard-throwing left-hander, and the No. 15 Gaels, who had lost four of their previous six league games, were looking to pull the upset. They took a 2-1 lead into the seventh only to see the Cardinals tie it and then win in the eighth, 3-2, on Nick Wojnowski's RBI single.
Waskiewicz had brilliant command and went all the way for Calvert Hall (16-1) as it finished the first round of the 11-team conference at a perfect 10-0.
The Gaels (8-8) are 3-6 in the league but were encouraged yesterday.
"If we get into the playoffs, we're going to be a tough playoff team with our pitching," said St. Joe coach Dave Norton.
Waskiewicz did not pitch at all last spring after suffering a collateral ligament injury in an auto accident in November 2003. He is now 6-0 after yesterday's five-hit gem on 95 pitches. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter.
Parks was equally as brilliant on an eight-hitter with six strikeouts and he too did not give up a walk through seven innings. His mates got to Waskiewicz for three hits in the fifth to take a 2-0 lead on a double by Marc Preiss and Mike Bianca's sacrifice fly.
In the sixth, Parks gave up a double to Mike Newton, who later scored on Scott Krieger's fly ball. Jon Galinski beat out an infield hit with two outs, scoring Mike Stangroom to tie the game in the seventh.