At Calvert Hall, perfection not just for varsity

The Baltimore Sun

Calvert Hall's baseball team is 30-0.

Add the junior varsity (23-0) and freshman-sophomore team (13-0), and the program is 66-0 and each team is headed to the playoffs. The feat is unprecedented in the area.

"The joke around school is who will be the first to lose," said coach Lou Eckerl, whose team won five games in five days for the second time this season.

"We don't want it to be us."

The top-ranked Cardinals got No. 30 yesterday with a 5-1 win at No. 4 Archbishop Spalding, as Kevin Lingerman (6-0) went the distance on a seven-hitter with seven strikeouts and two walks on 107 pitches.

Steve Brinkley homered for Spalding's run leading off the bottom of the fifth.

"Yeah, I tired a little bit in the fifth, but my team got behind me," Lingerman said. "They started rooting for me, and I heard them. They boosted me up in the sixth and seventh innings. To be 30-0 is great."

Calvert Hall scored all of its runs in the first two innings, with Jeff Guthridge, who was 2-for-3, getting an RBI in each inning. The Cavaliers (25-8) dropped from second to fourth in the seedings for the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference playoffs that start Monday.

The Cardinals, who are 18-0 in the league, took the top seed and No. 11 Loyola (16-8, 12-6) the second seed. Both have first-round byes on Monday.

Calvert Hall will host the winner of fifth-seeded Cardinal Gibbons (9-11, 8-10) at fourth-seeded Spalding at 4 p.m. Loyola will play the winner of No. 6 seed Mount St. Joseph (14-13, 8-10) at No. 3 seed St. Paul's (17-11, 12-6).

The double-elimination tournament culminates with the finals on May 23 at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen. If an extra game is needed, it would be the next day at Ripken Stadium.

Calvert Hall hopes to finish 33-0 with a third straight A Conference title, matching the 1993-1995 teams.

"This team wants to break that record the 2005 team set," Eckerl said. "Our guys are excited about trying to break the two-year-old record of 31, and they know they are in reach of going 33-0."

The 2005 team lost its season opener before going on to finish 31-1, setting state records for wins and consecutive wins in a season.

"We hit at 7 a.m. in the gym every morning before school starts at 8:25 a.m., and it's worth it," Guthridge said.

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