Spalding pitcher Jason Patten threw five shutout innings and the top-ranked Cavaliers got three-run homers from Kevin Moran and Jeff Kemp to knock off No. 3 Archbishop Curley, 7-0, in an elimination game of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference playoffs yesterday in Severn.
The Cavaliers (28-7) advance to the championship round coming out of the losers' bracket and will need to beat No. 2 Calvert Hall, the defending champion, twice to claim the conference crown. The teams meet at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen.
Spalding took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when center fielder Paul DeVito sliced a double to the right-field corner that scored catcher Eddie Palmer.
The Friars (21-8) had runners on first and third with two outs in the top of the fourth when Spalding left fielder Matt Hillsinger made a diving catch to end the threat. In the bottom of the inning, Moran pulled a three-run homer over the fence in left for a 4-0 lead. Kemp, who pitched two scoreless innings in relief, added his three-run shot in the sixth inning.
The Cavaliers now have their attention set on Calvert Hall.
"We're going to have to play our best baseball - absolute best," Spalding coach Steve Miller said. "All 23 guys are going to have to be focused, and we have to match their intensity."
Park 9, St. Mary's 5 -- Tony DeMarco rebounded from a shaky start on the mound to pitch a complete game and hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth to lead the Bruins to a B Conference playoff win over the visiting Saints. After a wild first inning in which he gave up four runs (two earned), the senior came to bat with his team down 5-3 and hit a 1-0 pitch over the right-field fence to give Park its first lead of the game.
C.M. Wright 14, Linganore 1, 5 inn. -- Mike Rappazzo hit a three-run homer in the top of the first and pitched a complete game as the Mustangs (18-4) defeated the host Lancers (16-6) to capture the 4A North title. The senior left-hander, who added another home run in the third for the Mustangs, struck out two and improved to 8-0 on the season.
Sparrows Point 18, Digital Harbor 7 -- The Pointers (11-10) bounced back from an early 4-1 deficit to defeat the host Rams for the 1A North title. Dan Hahn singled in two runs with the bases loaded and Johnathan Comer added a run-scoring hit as part of a six-run third inning. The Pointers added nine more runs over the next two innings, aided by solo home runs from Patrick Potocki and Jay Beall. Jereme Kolstrom went the distance for the Pointers, striking out seven.
Patapsco 9, Catonsville 8, 11 inn. -- Jordan Goocharan led off the bottom of the eleventh with a triple and scored on a ground ball to third to give the Patriots (18-2) a win over the Comets (14-4) and the 3A North title. The senior, who also scored the tying run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, narrowly avoided the tag as he crossed home plate with the winning run. firstname.lastname@example.org
Sun reporters contributed to this article.