Mrotek considers his mastery of the Cardinals; Sargent and Joseph produce at the plate
by Joe DiBlasi
One of the best baseball rivalries in the MIAA A Conference is the one between Archbishop Spalding and Calvert Hall, two clubs which have battled for the league title often in the last 10 years. And, for the regular season at least, the 2021 bragging rights belong Spalding, which completed a season sweep of the Cardinals with an 8-1 win in Towson, on Tuesday.
The Cavs, who won the first meeting 5-0 in mid-March, came within one inning of shutting the Cardinals out twice, but the Calvert Hall avoided that with seventh inning triple by Jake Butler and a sac fly by Alex Khan.
That was little consequence for the home squad, however, as Spalding broke on top with three run in the second, before adding two in the fifth and three more in the sixth. Brandon Parks got the Cavaliers rolling with a two-run double in the second and Ethan McNally followed with a sac fly.
The lead grew on a two-run home run by Thomas Joseph in the fifth. McNally had another RBI with a single in sixth. Brady Hannon chased one home with a bases loaded walk and Eddie Sargent plated the final run with a single.
Eddie Sargent was 3-for-4 with a run scored and Parker had a double, single and 2 RBI.
Calvert Hall was limited to just three hits by Noah Mrotek, who worked the first six innings without allowing a run. Having worked five scoreless innings in the first win over Calvert Hall, Mrotek extended scoreless streak against the Cards to 11 innings.
“Our guys put some good AB’s together and we put a lot of pressure early on him [Hall starter Scott Borgmann],” Spalding coach Joe Palumbo. “We played a really good game and we had a lot of confidence coming in knowing we had Noah on the mound.”
“The last game against them I was really on, and today, coming off our big win over Mount Saint Joe, I just wanted to keep up the pace and keep us on a roll,” said Mrotek.
While Mrotek said his two-seamer and slider were working well, he gave most of the credit for his success to the Cavalier defense. “Our defense is our best aspect, and I think it might be the best in the MIAA.”
Palumbo heaped praise on his ace.
“Holding them scoreless in two starts says a lot about Noah. He gave us six great innings today, and he really got in a groove. His fastball, two-seamer, slider and change-up were all working.”
After Khan doubled in the Hall second inning, Mrotek mowed down 11 straight hitters before Rakheem Smith singled up the middle to start the sixth. He then retired the next three Cards’ hitters in order, before giving way to Zach Ford who closed things out in the bottom of the seventh.
Veteran Calvert Hall Coach Lou Eckerl also spoke well of Mrotek’s outing.
“He kept us off balance, he mixed his pitches well, and they played great defense behind him. Spalding is a good team and they are well coached.”
With the victory, Spalding (9-3 overall, 6-3 MIAA A) regained sole possession of first place in the A Conference, a half game in front of Archbishop Curley, which had its game with St. Mary’s postponed until Wednesday. Calvert Hall (7-5 overall) fell to 4-5 in the league where it resides in a very unfamiliar seventh place.
Pictured above: Archbishop Spalding’s Noah Mrotek, who has pitched 11 scoreless innings against Calvert Hall this season, delivers to home plate.
ARCHBISHOP SPALDING 8, CALVERT HALL 1
AS 030 023 0 — 8 10 1
CH 000 000 1 — 1 3 1
AS-Mrotek, Z. Ford (7) and McNally; CH-Borgman, Mufareh (5), Bahr (6) and King
2B: AS-Parks; CH-Kahn, Butler.