No. 3 Cavaliers rally to top Gilman, 6-4; MIAA A roundup

by Joe DiBlasi

Seeking to knock off No. 3 Archbishop Spalding in MIAA A Conference baseball, Tuesday in Severna Park, visiting Gilman carried a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning, only to allow six runs in the frame and fall short, 6-4.

The Hounds grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a solo home run from Mike Willis and an RBI double off the bat of Alex Slodzinski.

Gilman right-hander Max Costes then proceeded to retire the first 15 Cavalier hitters that he faced.

Spalding’s Matt Palumbo reached base on the first pitch of the bottom of the sixth inning, when he dropped a bunt down the third-base line and beat it out, to break up the perfect game.

Dan Elliott then drew a walk,and Alex Green reached base on a Gilman infield miscue that loaded the bases.

Lead off hitter Peter Godrick plated the first Spalding run with a sacrifice fly to center, allowing Palumbo to score. Next, Spalding skipper Joe Palumbo called on pinch hitter Jon Brandt, who promptly whacked a ringing double to the opposite field to drive in two runs and give the Cavs their first lead of the day.

Gilman head coach Larry Sheets went to the mound and brought in reliever Matt Leikus.

Leikus walked Josh Moylan, and then gave up a single to Justin Caesar, and a double to Justin Pelletreau, and after sending 11 men to the plate in their big sixth inning, the Cavaliers held a 6-2 to lead.

Costes would suffer the loss, and he deserved a much better fate after an outstanding performance.

The Hounds were able to muster two runs in the top of the 7th, but it just wasn’t enough.

Sheets praised the work of Costes, but lamented the play of the Gilman defense.

“He threw the ball really well and he was throwing three pitches for strikes in a gutty performance,” said Sheets. “It’s a shame our defense let him down today. We made some poor decisions and bad mistakes and dropped the ball on a key play in that sixth inning, on what would have been an easy out.”

Spalding’s Matt Palumbo who reached base twice in the big sixth inning rally said he was just looking for a way to get on base.

“I saw that the third baseman was playing me a little further back my first at-bat and I thought about bunting then, but I wanted to feel out the pitcher,” said Matt Palumbo. “On my second at-bat I decided to put a bunt down. I wasn’t really thinking about his perfect game at the time, I just wanted to win the game.”

On his sac-fly that got the first run in on the day for the Cavs, Godrick said, “The bases were loaded and I knew I had to get the ball in the outfield to get a run in. I was looking for a fastball and I got one, and I was able to get the job done.”

On his key pinch-double, Brandt said, “I came off the bench cold, but Costes was struggling at that point with the bases loaded, and I was looking to put the ball in the outfield. I got an outer-half fast ball on the first pitch and took it for a ride.”

Coach Palumbo summarized the big sixth inning.

“We put some pressure on them and put some balls in play. We had a tough time all game trying to get to Costes. He kept us off-balance.

“Matt put the ball in play to lead off the inning and he was able to get on base. We then got a quality at-bat from Daniel Elliott when he drew a walk. We were able to get the bases loaded on that error, and then Pete (Godrick) showed some senior leadership with that sac-fly. It was great to see Jon Brandt come off the bench the way he did.”

Godrick said, “It was a real good bounce-back win after the loss to Calvert Hall. It’s a big win for us.”

Coach Palumbo agreed.

“Gilman is a good team. They are a playoff contender, and we needed this bounce back win, because we have to go to John Carroll on Thursday to face one of the best teams in the state.

“We hope to give them their first loss of the year.”

Pictured above: (From left) Matt Palumbo ignited Spalding’s six-run sixth, Peter Godrick drove in the team’s first run with a sac fly, and Jon Brandt hit a two-run pinch hit double to push the Cavaliers on top.

GIL 200 000 2 — 4 8 1
AS 000 006 x — 6 4 1
Costes, Leisure (6), and Mallos; McCormick, Powers (5), Vermillion (7), and Pelletreau
WP-Powers LP-Costes
2B: AS-Brandt, Pelletreau; GIL-Slodzinski, McCambridge.
HR: GIL-Willis.

Elsewhere in the A Conference on Tuesday, top-ranked went to St. Paul’s and won, 7-2; No. 2 Archbishop Curley edged Mount St. Joseph, 2-1, Loyola hammered McDonogh, 14-1, and No. 7 Calvert Hall unloaded on St. Mary’s, 17-2.

In Brooklandville, Nico Santoro was 2-for-4 with three RBI to lead John Carroll to its 14th win of the year without a loss. The Patriots scored four in the first and three in the seventh, as the winless Crusaders forced JC to the limit. Johnny Gallant had two hits, including a double, and a run scored and Tyler Blittersdorf had a pair of hits and two runs scored. Ryan Archibald also scored twice.

Kevin Madden had an RBI double for the Crusaders, Ryan Rogan had two hits, including a double, and a run scored, and Bomani Kopano pick up an RBI.

In Irvington, No. 2 Curley score a pair of runs in the top of third and made them stand up. Nick Brown drove in one run and the other scored on a St. Joe error. Corey Burton had two hits, including a double, for the Friars, and Paul Nixon pitched six strong innings one run and four hits, while striking out seven. Nick Richardson pitched a scoreless seventh, with two strikeouts, to earn the save. Michael Rosen had an RBI single for St. Joe.

In Towson, Calvert Hall collected 14 hits and scored 17 run in just four at bats the Cardinals hammered St. Mary’s in five innings. Parker Landwehr and J.P. Murphy each homered and Dominic Freeberger and G.T. Maggay doubled. Both Murphy and Landwehr had two hits, two runs scored and four RBI.

John Carroll continues to lead the league at 10-0, followed by Curley (8-2), Spalding (6-2) and Calvert Hall (6-3). Gilman and Loyola are tied for fifth at 5-5, while St. Joe (3-6) and St. Mary’s (2-5) have fallen off the playoff pace.