No. 7 Cardinals get the early jump on Gilman and win, 6-2

Calvert Hall slugger JP Murphy came up a double shy of the cycle in leading his Cardinals to their ninth straight win.

by Joe DiBlasi

It was cold and blustery with wind gusts in the mid 30’s in Roland Park on Thursday afternoon, when the Gilman Greyhounds hosted the seventh-ranked Calvert Hall Cardinals in an MIAA conference baseball matchup. As has been the case all spring, there was more talk swirling through the crowd before the game began about the weather conditions then about the game itself.

The Cardinals (12-5 overall, 7-3 MIAA A) prevailed 6-2 behind some crafty pitching from left-hander Casey Baumgard, and timely hitting from slugger JP Murphy.

Murphy ignited the Cardinals with a three-run homer in the top of the first inning after leadoff hitter Dom Freeberger reached on an error and catcher Parker Landweher was hit by a pitch by Gilman starter Peter Heubeck. The Hall would never surrender the lead after Murphy’s first inning blast.

The hot-hitting centerfielder was 3-for-4 with a single and a triple to go along with his three-run homer, and he scored two runs. When he came to the plate in the top of the seventh he knew he had a chance to hit for the cycle. “That last at-bat, I was looking for a fastball, but I got four straight curveballs, and I chased the last one in the dirt and he (Mike Willis) got me. Overall it was a good day. I got some good pitches and good swings on the ball.”

Calvert Hall got a solid performance from Baumgard.

Winning pitcher Casey Baumgard.

The lefty gave up four hits and two runs in 5.1 Innings of work, before coach Lou Eckerl summoned right-hander Dom Freeberger to the mound with Greyhound runners on first and second in the bottom of the fifth.

“I thought we needed a change of pace when I brought Freeberger in,” said Eckerl. “We made two straight errors and I thought a change-of-pace might pick us up.”

Freeberger surrendered an RBI single to Gilman slugger Mike Willis, but that was the only hit he would allow in relief.

Willis blasted a solo homer to deep left-center in the Gilman second inning off of Baumgard. The hard-hitting right fielder was 3-for-3 on the day for the Hounds (7-10 overall, 5-6 MIAA A), and he did a creditable job on the mound in relief over the last two innings for coach Larry Sheets.

Baumgard had pinpoint control. He had two strikeouts and did not allow a walk, and his defense played well behind him.

Calvert Hall left-fielder Antonio Barranca thwarted a potential Gilman rally in the third inning, when the Hounds had a man aboard with two away. Barranca made a great diving catch on a sinking liner off the bat of Casey Bishop to end the inning to keep the Greyhounds off the board.

“I worked my two seam inside and outside and I was trying to pitch around the strike zone. It was all about location,” said Baumguard. “My curveball was okay but I relied on my fastball. All of the teams in this league can hit.”

It was the Cardinals ninth straight win.

CH 310 010 1 — 6 6 3
GIL 010 001 0 — 2 5 1
Baumgard, Freeberger (6) and Landwehr; Heubeck, Rosenfeld (4), Willis (6) an Mallas
WP-Baumgard LP-Heubeck
2B: CH-Torres, Marchineck.
3B: CH-Murphy.
HR: CH-Torres, Murphy.