Calvert Hall rallies past John Carroll in eight; Loyola routs St. Mary’s; playoff seeds set; see tournament bracket here
by Joe DiBlasi
Four Gilman pitchers combined to shutout visiting Archbishop Curley, 6-0, in Roland Park on Tuesday to give the Greyhounds and Coach Larry Sheets a second place finish in the MIAA A Conference on the last day of the regular season.
The win means the Hounds (12-8 overall, 11-5 MIAA A) will be the 2nd-seed in the double-elimination championship tournament, which begins on Friday. Gilman will host 7th-seeded Loyola (5-11, 5-11) in their post-season opener. Curley (15-8, 9-7), which spent a long stretch in first place this spring, has slumped at the end of the season and the Friars have fallen to the 6th-seed. Curley will play at 3rd-seed Mount St. Joseph (14-5, 11-5) on Friday. The Gaels defeated McDonogh, 9-4, in their final regular season game on Tuesday. Although Gilman and St. Joe both have 11-5 league records, the Greyhounds got the higher seed by virtue of sweeping the season series between the two.
Bennett Speicher started on the hill for Sheets and tossed two hitless innings. Owen Holmgren took over in the third and allowed just two hits over two scoreless innings, before Cooper Sidell came on in the fifth to pitch the next two innings. Finally, Casey Bishop finished up in the seventh. The four pitchers combined to strike out eight Friars and Sidell was the pitcher of record.
James Gladden went all the way for Coach Joe Gaeta’s Friars, and he suffered the loss.
Gilman grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first after successfully executing a double steal with Ryan Martinez (who was hit by the pitch) on second and Lucas Matanguihan (who singled to right) on first. Martinez kept coming around third to score the first run of the game, when the Curley’s throw to the plate was late.
The Hounds got four more in the third, when they sent eight men to the plate. The inning featured four singles, two sac-flies, a walk, and a Curley miscue.
Martinez reached base in all four trips to the plate, on a walk, an error and he was hit by the pitch twice. The speedy leadoff hitter for the Hounds scored three runs on the day.
Designated, clean-up hitter Trevor Weiner had two hits, an RBI, and a run scored to pace the Gilman offense.
“A week or so ago I got upset at our guys and really challenged them,” said Sheeets. “They responded.
“This was Gilman baseball today. We played well. We did the little things, We pitched well and threw strikes, and got some timely hitting. We won a big ball game today against a good team, to get us ready for the playoffs.”
Elsewhere in the league, Calvert Hall (13-7, 9-7)scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie John Carroll (10-7, 9-7) and then won, 9-8, in nine innings. That result forced a three-way tie for fourth with Curley and John Carroll and when the tie-breakers were sorted out, the Cardinals rose to the fourth seed and John Carroll claimed the 5th-seed. It also means John Carroll will return to Calvert Hall on Friday to start the tournament.
Also on Tuesday, Loyola (5-11, 5-11) closed its regular season on strong note, defeating St. Mary’s 11-1, as the Dons prepare for their tournament match-up at Gilman. St. Mary’s (5-12, 4-12) will open its tournament play at home on Wednesday. As the 8th-seed, the Saints will host 9th-seeded McDonogh (0-17, 0-16).
The St. Mary’s/McDonogh winner will travel to top-seeded Archbishop Spalding (20-3, 14-2) on Thursday. The Cavaliers tuned up for the playoffs with an 11-1 non-conference win over DeMatha, on Tuesday.
Pictured above: (from left) Gilman pitchers Bennett Speicher, Owen Holgrim, Cooper Sidell and Casey Bishop combined shutout Archbishop Curley, 6-0, and wrap up the second seed in the MIAA A Conference baseball playoffs.
Below is the official 2021 MIAA A Conference Baseball Tournament bracket.2021 A Baseball Bracket OR2