In a critical game that had playoff significance for the Archbishop Curley baseball team, the Friars turned to right-hander Nick Richardson, who tossed 6.2 shutout innings, Thursday, to deliver a 3-0 MIAA A Conference victory for Curley over John Carroll, at the Ripken Complex’s Yankee Stadium in Aberdeen.
Richardson allowed just 3 hits, scatted 5 walks and struck out 6 Patriots. Paul Nixon came on the seventh, with two on and two down and get the final out on a fly ball to center to earn the save.
Curley scored single runs in the 4th, 5th and 7th innings. Nixon drove in the first run with a RBI single. Brian Smith led off the 5th with a single and eventually came around to score courtesy of two John Carroll errors. In the seventh, Kyle Ridgely had a leadoff single, was sacrificed to second by Smith and moved to third on a fielder’s choice. He then came in to score a big insurance run as the Patriots surrendered another unearned run by misplaying grounder to third by Damond Nixon.
Trent Gast-Woodard was the only Curley player with two hits, including a double.
John Carroll managed just three singles against Richardson, with Alex Rasmussen, Matt Lozinak and Cole Diana delivering the base hits.
With the victory, Curley (8-12 overall) improved to 8-9 in the A Conference and climbed from 7th place to 5th with one game to play. The Friars, however, are not yet safe in their bid to claim one of the six slots in the post-season.
Curley has one league game remaining, on Tuesday at home, as it hosts top-ranked Archbishop Spalding. A win would clinch a playoff position. However, a loss, depending on the outcome of other games, could land the Friars in a tie with two or three others teams. Since the three teams immediately behind the Friars, Loyola (7-8), Mount St. Joseph (7-10) and St. Mary’s (6-9), all own wins over Spalding, the first place team, the Friars would fall short in the tie-breakers if it were to fall to the Cavaliers for a second time.
John Carroll (9-13, 5-12) will close its season with a home game against Dulaney on Monday and a visit to Loyola on Tuesday. With a win at Loyola, could play spoiler for the Dons.