Calvert Hall wins homer battle, game

The Baltimore Sun

No. 1 Calvert Hall hit five home runs to No. 2 Archbishop Spalding's three yesterday, prevailing on the road at the homer-friendly field, 12-5.

Every Calvert Hall starter had at least one hit in the team's 17-hit spree.

Junior shortstop Patrick Blair belted two homers to lead Calvert Hall (11-3) to its 30th consecutive Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference win.

The Cardinals remain tied for first at 5-0 with No. 5 Archbishop Curley, which beat No. 6 Loyola, 4-2, yesterday.

Calvert Hall's streak began at the end of the 2006 season when it closed 4-0 to win its second of three consecutive titles. The Cardinals' last loss was on May 17, 2006, at Spalding, 3-2, in the playoffs as Jason Patten stopped them in eight innings.

Patten started yesterday for the No. 2 Cavaliers (15-4, 4-1) and was greeted by home runs from Blair and senior winning pitcher Kevin Lingerman. That sparked a seven-run first inning.

"As 1-2 hitters, Kevin and I like to set the tone," said Blair, who hit a two-run homer in a three-run seventh that sealed the game.

"That's exactly what we did. Great pitching performance by Kevin and getting 17 hits and making no errors -- we're not going to lose many games."

Both coaches, Lou Eckerl of the Calvert Hall and Steve Miller of Spalding, called the park "a band box" with its 340-foot distance to the right-center wall, the general vicinity where all but one of the eight homers went out.

"When the wind starts blowing out that way, I'm not surprised if there are six to eight home runs hit here," Miller said.

Second baseman Pat Fitzgerald (3-for-3 with a homer) doubled in the final two runs in the first as Patten faced 12 batters and threw 46 pitches.

Spalding answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning, with catcher Eddie Palmer hitting his first of two homers. Jeff Kemp led off the third with a homer. Two batters later, Palmer hit his second to make it 8-5.

Calvert Hall's Mike Dillon led off the fourth with the only homer to left to make it 9-5.

Lingerman, last year's Sun Player of the Year, got his first win this season yesterday after getting over arm problems. He got the dangerous Kemp to fly to right for the final out with two on in the fourth and to deep center with the bases loaded to end the sixth.

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