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Mount Saint Joseph baseball roars past John Carroll for 14-2 victory

Thursday’s Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association baseball matchup between John Carroll and Mount Saint Joseph felt the brunt of the wind and snow showers in Bel Air.

Then, the Patriots felt the brunt of the Gaels’ bats. After trailing 2-0 in the first inning, Mount Saint Joseph scored 14 unanswered runs in a 14-2 victory over John Carroll.

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Senior Ethan Grieb went 3-for-3 with two RBIs, a walk and a run to lead Mount Saint Joseph (4-1, 3-1 MIAA A Conference). Seniors Josh Lantz and Travis Leatherwood, junior Tanner Vicendese and sophomore Landon Cooley had two hits a piece as the Gaels pounded out 12 hits.

“We’re on a streak right now and I hope that we can keep it going,” Grieb said. “As the leadoff hitter, I just want to start the momentum for the game, keep it going, get my guys up because I know they’ve got my back. Jackson’s [Bauer] got my back. I just wanted to keep swinging hot and make the defense work. When we make them work, they’ll make mistakes and we get on. We’ll steal their momentum and we take it.”

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Gaels junior Jackson Bauer was the winning pitcher, allowing just four hits and two earned runs in six innings while walking three and striking out seven.

The biggest key for Bauer was to settle in after he allowed those two early runs. While he lost his footing a few times on the slippery turf mound, he keyed in to make crucial outs en route to a complete game.

“I gave up those two runs in the first inning and I know my teammates have my back in every single game,” Bauer said. “I know if I go out there and do what I can, they’re going to put up runs behind me. They’re going to give me everything that I need to win this game. I’m probably weird because I don’t mind pitching in the cold. People don’t like to swing as much. They’re cold, they don’t want to do much. They want to get off of the field and get warm. I love it.”

Mount Saint Joseph coach Philip Kraska understood that with COVID-19 restrictions affecting preparation, he’d have to get his players ready somehow. Before Thursday’s game, the Gaels were told that their home game would become an away game because of the wet field conditions. Getting off to a 4-1 start in a tough MIAA A Conference is tall task in any season, especially one in which they’ve had to face a lot of adversity.

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“With a weird year and it being short, I think that we’ve really came together here in the last week and we’ve been hungry,” Kraska said. “We had off on Monday and we hadn’t played yet and we wanted to get this game in. So, we made arrangements to come up here and our guys came ready to play. We went down in the first inning, but we came right back and kept the pressure on all game.”

John Carroll (3-3, 3-2 MIAA A Conference) attacked in the first inning with Tate Gerringer singling on a 2-2 count to drive in two runs. Mount Saint Joseph answered in the top of the second, as an error by John Carroll right fielder Brandon Dumler allowed Nick Strouse to score. Grieb singled on a 1-2 count to drive in a run and tie the game at 2.

In the top of the third, Cooley singled on a line drive to right field to plate Leatherwood for a 3-2 lead. The Gaels wouldn’t look back, with Leatherwood singling to right field to score Vicendese and Grieb. Lantz scored on the next play on a single by Joseph Willis to give Mount Saint Joseph a 6-2 lead in the fourth inning.

The Gaels scored eight more runs in the sixth. Willis walked with the bases loaded, scoring Zachary Wainio. Michael Sweeney had a bases-clearing double. Strause entered the game for Sweeney as a courtesy runner and scored on a triple by Cooley. Grieb singled to score Cooley. Lantz finished things off with a two-run single to bring home Greg Conley and Vicendese for the 14-2 lead.

“Today I think that we can’t go out and put up two in the first and then, not make the routine plays to allow them back in the game and change that momentum,” John Carroll coach Darrion Siler said. “We know that success waxes and wanes with momentum shifts. They shifted it back and we couldn’t put up a goose egg after we got those two. They came in with two and they just kept adding to it.”

Runs—Hits—Errors

MSJ: 14—12—2

JC: 2—4—4

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