In a tense battle between arch-rivals, fourth-seeded Loyola traveled to Calvert Hall, Monday evening, and knocked off the top-ranked and top-seeded Cardinals, 2-1, in 9 innings, to advance to the winner’s bracket final of the MIAA A Conference Baseball Tournament. The Dons will face three-time defending champion Archbishop Spalding on Wednesday. Spalding also advanced on Monday, with a 6-1 home win over sixth-seeded Archbishop Curley.
Jack Glock was the hero for the Dons as he delivered a leadoff double in the top of the ninth, which eventually turned into the winning run, and he pitched out of tough jams in both the eighth and ninth innings to earn the win on the mound in relief of his brother Will, who started and tossed five strong innings.
Following Glock’s ninth-inning double, Patrick Krack came on as his courtesy runner. Krack moved to third on a fielder’s choice. This brought Jack Reinhardt to the plate and he hit a liner to shallow right-field, which was caught by Calvert Hall’s JP Murphy. Krack tagged and appeared to bluff a run for the plate, causing Murphy to hesitate ever so slightly. This left him a flat-footed when Krack broke a second time. The throw to the plate did not have much on it and the ball bounced away from catcher Garrett Matheny, as Krack slid safely into the plate.
In the Calvert Hall ninth, Michael Poling, who drove in Calvert Hall’s only run, drew a leadoff walk. Jose Torres then laid down a beautiful bunt up the first-base line. The ball was fielded by first-baseman Brent Peterson, who scooped it towards the bag with his glove hand, but the ball went behind Torres and rolled down the right-field line. While this was going on, Poling raced around second and was waived home at third. However, the throw home from second-baseman Dom Dinoto beat him by 10 feet and he was tagged by catcher Hunter Spalt for the first out of the inning. Torres ended up on second on the play, but Glock calmly struck out Brendan Webster and AC Chavis to end the contest.
Loyola (11-13) also dodged a big bullet in the bottom of the eighth, when Murphy drilled a one-out triple into the right-centerfield gap. Loyola coach Mike Kelly elected to intentionally walk the next two batters to load the bases and bring his infield in to cut-off a run at the plate.
Glock then coaxed a weak grounder to short from Justin Kerr that resulted in a force-out of Murphy at the plate, before getting Spencer Blair to pop out to first to escape the jam.
“I wanted to put some pressure on them,” said Kelly of his decision to walk two men. “I know they like to squeeze and that is tough to defend. We brought the infield in and got a ground ball to get the force, so it worked out.”
Loyola broke on top in the second inning and again Jack Glock, who caught his brother for the first five innings, was in the thick of things. Glock hit a high fly-ball to deep right. Murphy got under it, but appeared to lose it in the sky and it deflected off his glove for a three-base error. Krack came on as the courtesy runner and he scored when Dinoto reached on a third-strike passed ball.
“We have a good enough team on any given day to beat anybody and anybody can beat us,” said Kelly. “We have to play tight and pitch like we did. Both Glock brothers pitched well.”
Will Glock allowed four hits in five innings and Calvert Hall’s only run. He struck out four and walked two. Jack Glock allowed just two hits and struck out five in four innings. He walked five, two intentionally.
Calvert Hall (23-3), after being shutdown over the first four innings, got a leadoff walk from Kerr in the fifth. Gabe Nieto pinch-ran and stole second, before Spencer Blair struck out. Poling then cashed in Nieto with a single to right-field.
“That was a great game and a great atmosphere,” said Kelly. “I appreciate Calvert Hall for playing it at night, so more people could get there. I’ve coached a lot of their kids in the summer and they are great players. It’s a shame someone had to lose.”
Calvert Hall got an outstanding start from senior pitcher Brennan Maher. He went the first seven innings, allowing just two hits and one unearned run, while striking out eight.
The Dons will get a well-earned day off on Tuesday before traveling to Spalding on Wednesday. The winner of Wednesday’s game will advance to the finals, which will be played on Sunday at Harford Community College. The winner will also have the luxury of needing just one win in the finals, while their opponent will need two.
Calvert Hall will be at home on Tuesday to play third-seeded Gilman in an elimination game. Gilman, which lost its tournament opener on Friday to Curley, rebounded with a 2-0 win over John Carroll on Monday, eliminating the Patriots from the post-season.
In another well pitched game, Gilman (23-10) got a third-inning home run from junior Max Costes and a RBI single by Mike Willis, in the sixth, to put their two runs on the board.
Danny Rosenfeld made the start for Gilman and pitched four shutout innings to earn the win. He allowed just two hits, the only two hits John Carroll (10-13) got on the afternoon. Isaac Engermann followed with two scoreless innings and Costes got the save with a scoreless seventh.
The winner of the Calvert Hall/Gilman game will host Curley on Wednesday. The Friars got the elimination bracket bye because the tournament does not allow for any team two get two byes and, as the top seed, Calvert Hall an opening round bye.
MIAA A CONFERENCE BASEBALL TOURNAMENT
WINNERS BRACKET GAME 4
LOYOLA BLAKEFIELD 2, NO. 1 CALVERT HALL 1, 9 INNINGS
LOY 010 000 001 — 2 3 1
CHC 000 010 000 — 1 6 3
WP-J. Glock LP-Rosso
W. Glock, J. Glock (6) and J. Glock, Spalt (6); Maher, Rosso (8) and Matheny.
2B: LOY-J. Glock.