Calvert Hall pitcher Brady Power was spot on with his location, shortstop Jose Torres hit another timely long ball and the No. 1 Cardinals kept doing what they’ve been doing at Mount Saint Joseph on Thursday — playing winning baseball.
Power pitched a one-hitter and Torres hit a two-run home run early in the game before Calvert Hall pulled away late for a 7-0 win over the No. 14 Gaels in Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference play.
The Cardinals (16-3) won their 13th straight and improved to 11-0 in the MIAA. Mount Saint Joseph, which got an 11-strikeout performance from ace John Torroella, is fell to 9-5 and 7-4 in league play.
Torres, who hit a walk-off grand slam in the Cardinals’ 5-2 win over Gilman on Tuesday, gave Power all the run support he would need in the top of the third inning when he went the other way in hitting a John Torroella fastball over the right-center field fence for a 2-0 lead.
“The first at-bat, he got me with a fastball, blew one by me, struck me out. So next pitch I knew I had to get him – that’s my competitive nature,” Torres said. “I went in looking for fastball, reacting to curveball and he tried to sneak one by me, so I just took it where it was pitched.”
Power’s pinpoint control and near flawless defense carried the rest of the day for the Cardinals. Power was able to keep his fastball and curve low and outside to keep the Gaels lunging to put the ball in play. They did plenty — Power only finished with two strikeouts — but the Cardinals defense held firm, only committing a sixth-inning error after they had a 4-0 lead.
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“I felt really good today. For me, it’s just about getting into a rhythm and then getting that outside corner,” Power said.
Aside from Torres’ home run, Torroella was dominant most of the way. He struck out the side in top of the fourth inning and the Gaels squandered a chance to get back in the game in the bottom of the inning.
Ethan Grieb opened the inning by beating out a sharp grounder to deep short, just beating Torres’ throw. Justin Looney followed with a walk to put runners on first and second, but Power got both Michael Rosen and Connor Rudel to pop out to center fielder Garrett McIlhenney. On Rudel’s fly out, Grieb was doubled off second base to end the inning.
McIlhenney, who doubled, had a sacrifice bunt, walked, was hit by a pitch and scored two runs, caught eight fly balls and Pete Marchinek flashed a good glove at first base.
Calvert Hall coach Lou Eckerl was pleased with the entire team effort, particularly how well Power executed his pitches.
“He spotted the ball very well,” Eckerl said. “I tell these guys all the time, sometimes it’s not always about striking everybody out. It’s about not letting the guys hit hard and let your defense play behind you. And that’s what we did — our defense played well behind us, they didn’t score any runs and we ended up winning.”
Mount Saint Joseph coach Phil Kraska was equally impressed with the performance he got from Torroella, who was relieved after getting one out in the Cardinals’ three-run seventh. The Gaels made four errors in the field, two blunders on the base paths and Calvert Hall made sure to take advantage.
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“Calvert Hall is the best team in the league and [Torroella] was talking about this since his last start. He said ‘I’m going to get this game.’ and that just speaks to the type of competitor he is. He did a great job today, we just weren’t able to do some things to help him out.”