Only two baseball games took place in the MIAA A Conference on Monday, but both answered questions with regards to the upcoming post-season tournament.
No. 17 Loyola traveled to Brooklandville on Monday and defeated St. Paul’s, 4-2, to move ever closer to clinching a playoff spot and McDonogh damaged No. 18 St. Mary’s chances of making the post-season by defeating the Saints, 4-2, in Owings Mills.
Andrew Fava tossed a complete game for the Dons and Jack Sheehan had two hits, including his team-leading fourth home run to lead Loyola.
Loyola (14-9 overall) is now 8-8 in the league with two games to go – Tuesday at home against John Carroll and Wednesday at St. Mary’s. A win in either of those contests would insure the Dons, who are currently in fifth place, finish in the top six and earn a spot in the playoffs. The Dons could still possibly qualify even if they lost both games, but that would depend on how the tie-breakers ultimately fall.
The loss cost St. Paul’s (14-12, 10-7) it’s slim shot of overtaking Calvert Hall (16-9, 12-5) for the second seed in the playoffs. The Crusaders now must win on Tuesday against Mount St. Joseph (14-10, 7-10) to clinch the third or see Loyola lose one of its remaining games. The Cardinals will finish up their regular season at St. Mary’s on Tuesday.
St. Mary’s (15-10, 6-10) is seeking to reach the A Conference playoffs after two consecutive B Conference titles, but the Saints now need to win out and get help to reach the tournament.
At McDonogh, the host Eagles (5-14, 5-12) got a strong effort from starting pitcher Andrew Golden, who scattered 5 hits over 6 innings and allowed just 1 unearned run. Adam Rosenstein and Alex Parker each had 2 hits and both had a home run. Parker also had 3 RBI.
Here is how the rest of the A Conference playoff picture looks.
Top-ranked Archbishop Spalding (23-4, 14-3) has already locked up the top seed and closes its regular season at Archbishop Curley (8-12, 8-9), on Tuesday. Curley currently sits in sixth-place but the Friars need a win over the Cavaliers or a loss by St. Joe to book its spot in the playoffs. Should the Friars lose and St. Joe (14-12, 7-10) defeat St. Paul’s in its finale on Tuesday, the Gaels would own the tie-break because it has a win over first-place Spalding. If all of this happens and St. Mary’s wins both of its games, the Saints would trump the Friars and Gaels because it swept its season series with St. Joe and split with Curley.
Gilman (13-11, 9-8) currently sits in fourth place, nestled between St. Paul’s and Loyola, and closes its regular season at McDonogh on Tuesday. The Greyhounds are in the playoffs and could end up seeded anywhere from fourth to sixth. The cannot overtake St. Paul’s because of a disadvantage in the tie-breakers.
John Carroll (9-14, 5-12) and McDonogh will join two other teams on the outside looking in at the playoffs.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story mistakenly stated that St. Mary’s was eliminated from the playoffs.