Loyola Dons first baseman Danny Sheeler rises to catch a throw to record the out on Archbishop Curley Friars batter Alvin Carela Fri., April 5, 2019.
Loyola Dons first baseman Danny Sheeler rises to catch a throw to record the out on Archbishop Curley Friars batter Alvin Carela Fri., April 5, 2019. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

The Loyola offense couldn’t generate much during Friday’s baseball game with visiting Archbishop Curley, a big reason the Friars held a six-run lead in the sixth inning. In the bottom half of the frame, though, the Dons’ offense suddenly awakened and everything changed.

Loyola took advantage of two errors from No. 10 Archbishop Curley to get things started, and pinch-hitter Trey Oakley hit a three-run triple. Dom Dinoto added a game-tying two-run double and later scored on a wild pitch, capping a seven-run inning that gave Loyola an 8-7 victory over Curley in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference game.

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The Dons finished with just five hits, but that proved to be enough on this day as two of them drove in five runs.

Loyola coach Mike Kelly said he’s got a younger team that had lost three straight A Conference games, and he’s hoping this is the kind of win that could help turn things around.

“We’re hoping it sets us [up] for a little run here,” Kelly said. “You never know. [It] didn’t look good there for a while, but we spun it together there at the end.

Curley starter Travis Nale kept Loyola (3-6, 2-4 MIAA A Conference) quiet through his 5 2/3-inning stint. He left with a 7-2 lead and the bases loaded thanks partially to that pair of errors that happened earlier in the inning.

Oakley then greeted Tim Fair with a three-run triple to deep right that made it 7-5. Two batters later, Dinoto lined a two-run double to center that tied the game.

Later in the inning, Tyler Locklear came in to pitch -- the Friars’ fourth pitcher of the inning -- but his wild pitch brought in Dinoto from third and gave Loyola the 8-7 lead.

“We started to swing the bats more aggressively later, and that’s when we got going,” Dinoto said. ”I think that this is just a good [win] to have. It’s a good confidence booster.”

Loyola right-hander Mike Jensen then came out to start the seventh after giving up four runs in the sixth inning, thanks mainly to hitting three batters and walking two in that frame. But Jensen bounced back and retired the first two batters of the seventh.

Kelly then brought in Stephen Schenning to pitch. Schenning had been the designated hitter and warmed up to pitch earlier but was sitting on the bench on the cold, drizzly afternoon. He walked the first batter and next gave up a single to put the tying run at second.

The right-hander bounced a few pitches to those first two batters but settled in and battled Colton Knoble before finally getting him to ground out, locking up the save.

“It took a few minutes to loosen up,” Schenning said. “I was just [trying] to throw strikes. I didn’t want to do anything fancy.”

Curley (4-5, 3-4) took command early thanks to a Trent Williams two-run homer off starter Nate Beal in the first. The Friars made it 3-0 in the fifth on a wild pitch before adding four in the sixth, two of which came on a Knoble single.

Jensen hit one with the bases loaded and walked another with the sacks full for two more runs and a 7-1 lead. That’s when the Dons’ offense started rolling and stunned the Friars.

One bad inning certainly proved costly for Curley in this game. The two miscues and a wild pitch were the turning points in helping Loyola turn a six-run deficit into a one-run lead in that one inning.

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“We just didn’t play well enough to win,” Curley coach Brooks Norris said. “Physical mistakes and mental mistakes compounded that inning.”

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