Archbishop Curley locked up the second-seed and a first round bye in the MIAA A Conference baseball post-season tournament, Wednesday, as the Friars completed the regular season with a come-from-behind, 6-2, win over defending conference champion Calvert Hall, in East Baltimore.
The final day began with the potential for a four-way tie for first place, but it ended up with just three teams at the top, as St. Paul’s dropped it’s finale, 9-5, to Loyola to fall back to the fourth-seed. Spalding, which edged John Carroll, 3-2, in its final game, owned the three-way tie-breaker and will be the top seed in the tournament. Curley will be second and Calvert Hall third. In addition, Mount St. Joseph is fifth and Gilman is sixth.
Mike Remeikis threw a complete game five-hitter for Curley (16-9, 12-4) and he struck out 10 Cardinals. At one point the tall lefty retired five straight hitters, which included the heart of the Cardinal line-up.
“Remeikis was huge for us today,” said Curley coach Brooks Norris. “He located his fastball and mixed in his curve. He struck out the side in the sixth, after we had our inning, which was huge.”
Nick Delp broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth with a two-run homer for the Hall (19-5, 12-4), but Curley broke through with three runs in the fifth, and they added three more in the sixth to put the game away.
Catcher Christian Hamel had the key hit in the fifth, when his RBI single put the Friars on top 3-2.
Curley sent 10 men to the plate in the fifth when they chased Hall starter Greg Carter from the mound. The Friars started the frame with two walks and an infield single off of Carter. Trevor Sprinkle took over for Carter with the bases loaded and none out, and he allowed a fielders choice RBI to Andrew Dikes, a Zack Ridgely single, a walk to Marty Costes, and Hamel’s single. All three runs were charged to Carter, who took the loss.
Hamel said, “He (Sprinkle) did get ahead of me on the first pitch. I was looking for a good pitch to hit, and as I saw more pitches in the count I realized I had to get good contact and had to get the run in.”
Hamel said that all three of Remeikis’ pitches were working. “He would get ahead with his fastball, and then come back with anything he wanted.”
Remeikis said, “I had control of all three of my pitches, and I was able to locate really well. It’s a tough order, one through nine, and they’re going to make you work hard. My location was spot on today.”
Nick Carroll had two hits and two RBI, and he scored two runs, and Ridgely had two hits and a RBI for the Friars. Carroll drove in two runs in the Curley sixth, when the Friars added their insurance runs.
Ridgely, the ace of the Curley pitching staff, said that Remekis pitched a wonderful game. “He kept hitters off balance.”
Elsewhere, Spalding’s win at John Carroll elevated it to the top seed. In a four way tie, Spalding’s two losses to St. Paul’s would have worked against it, but with the Crusaders dropping out of the top group, the Cavs held a 3-1 combined head-to-head record against Curley and Calvert Hall. With the Cavs in the top spot, Curley grabbed the second seed by virtue of its two wins over the Cardinals.
Billy Godrick and Regan Owens homered for the Cavaliers at John Carroll, while Jon Lane and Kevin Heiss each had a double.
St. Paul’s, which would have ended up with the top seed if it could have defeated Loyola, fell behind 6-0 early to the Dons and was unable to catch-up in the four-run loss.
When the double-elimination league tournament gets underway on Friday, Calvert Hall will host sixth-seeded Gilman. A win would send the Cardinals right back to Curley next Monday, after the Friars enjoy an opening round bye. Friday’s other opening round game will see St. Joe at St. Paul’s. That winner will travel to Spalding next Monday. The losers of Friday’s games will also play next Monday in the tournament’s first elimination game.