Cavaliers hold off Calvert Hall in MIAA A baseball opener; Godrick and Green combine to go 7-for-7 (VIDEO HERE!!)
by Pat O’Malley
Archbishop Spalding High and Calvert Hall College, the two baseball teams that have dominated the MIAA A Conference over the last decade, met in Severn Monday afternoon, as part opening day for league play in the A Conference, and the host Cavaliers gained the early upper hand on the Cardinals in what should be a very competitive league this spring.
Spalding outlasted the Hall, 7-5, as senior Peter Godrick went 4-for-4 with a homer, double and two RBIs and and classmate Alex Green went 3-for-3 with a triple and RBI. Junior Zach Powers, sophomore Daniel Elliott and junior Spencer Sherman sparkled on the hill for the Cavaliers (2-0 overall, 1-0 MIAA A) through the first six innings limiting the visitors to just two runs. Powers would notch the win.
The Cavs (2014-16) and Cards (2012-13, 2008-09) )have each won four A Conference titles over the last 10 years with Loyola winning it last season and Gilman in 2010. Those four teams along with Archbishop Curley, John Carroll and St. Mary’s are expected to make a run for crown. Mount St. Joseph, McDonogh and St. Paul’s complete the circuit and six of the 10 teams will qualify for the post season double elimination tourney.
“It could be that the No. 1 seed could have four or five losses this sesason,” said Spalding coach Joe Palumbo whose guys won’t play the Hall again until Friday, April 13 in Towson. “So, that’s why this was a big win for us.”
The Cards (0-2, 0-1 MIAA A) drew first blood when their junior Boston College-bound catcher Parker Landwehr, the second batter of the game, went deep over the left-field fence off Powers for a 1-0 lead. Landwehr would go 4-for-4 with two RBIs in a losing cause.
Spalding tied it up in the bottom of the first on catcher Justin Pelletreau’s single to center scoring centerfielder and leadoff batter Peter Godrick who had singled and stolen second.
Spalding would take the lead for good in their next at-bat on a single by Nick Benitez and double by Godrick to score two runs for a 3-1 advantage on Hall starter and loser Dan O’Connor. O’Connor would strikeout 10 batters in 4.2 innings, but gave up six runs on seven hits and a hit batter. With two outs, the Cavs got to O’Connor for three runs in the fifth that practically put the game away.
A 3-bagger to left by Green tallied the first run and designated hitter Cory Blohm’s second knock of the game scored the second run and the Cards’ second error of the inning resulted in the third. A la his older brother, Billy Godrick, the VSN 2016 Co-Player of the Year, Peter Godrick also leads off and plays centerfield. And we might add, that this Godrick also hits dingers as his brother did and led off the bottom of the sixth with a homer off reliever Kasey Baumgart to cap the Cavs scoring and give them a 7-2 lead.
“I’ve batted leadoff most of my life until last season and that’s what my brother did,” said Godrick, who batted .257 with 20 runs and 18 RBIs as a junior in 2017. “I love leading-off and this should be a fun year.”
It was sure fun yesterday as the Cavs jumped out and then held on in the top of the seventh to preserve the victory. Besides the runs themselves, other key factors enabled Spalding to build the lead were a huge strikeout by Powers in the third and Elliott preventing a big inning in the fifth.
With two Redbirds aboard and no outs in the third inning, JP Murphy, considered by many to be one the top five hitters in Maryland and arguably the premier outfielder, strode to the plate. An 0-2 breaking pitch by Powers caught the outside corner for strike three. The Cardinals then ran themselves out of the inning and Spalding maintained its 3-1 lead.
“Zach needs to trust his stuff in situations like that, and he did,” said Palumbo.
After a 1-2-3 inning in the fourth, Powers walked the No. 9 hitter leading off the fifth and one of the cardinal sins of baseball resulted in his exit as Palumbo went out and got him in exchange for Elliott. The sophomore right-hander fanned a batter, but then gave up a knock to Landwehr, his third hit of the game, and it was on. A wild pitch by Elliott with Murphy batting made it 3-2 and the latter drew a base on balls.
Elliott then threw a ground ball on a 1-2 pitch to cleanup batter Dom Freeberger and it produced a 4-6-3 double play from second-baseman Benitez to shortstop Justin Caesar to first-baseman Josh Moylan – out of the inning.
“It was Daniel’s first varsity appearance and it came in a big game and he made the pitches,” said Palumbo.
Spencer Sherman pitched out of a two-out jam in the sixth, but when the first three Redbirds singled to start the top of the seventh, Sherman was chased for Caesar who moved from shortstop to the mound. Caesar would get three outs but not before the Hall had put three runs on the board and brought the tying run to the plate before the final out.
“It’s always a challenge to play Calvert Hall and anything can happen when you play them,” said Powers. “But we started off with a tough win.”
ARCHBISHOP SPALDING 7, CALVERT HALL COLLEGE 5
Calvert Hall 100 010 3 – 5 10 2
Archbishop Spalding 120 031 x – 7 11 0
AS – Zach Powers, Daniel Elliott (5), Spencer Sherman (6) and Justin Caesar (7) and Justin Pelletreau.
CH – Dan O’Connor, Kasey Baumgart (5) and Parker Landwehr.
2B: CH-Ben O’Connell; AS-Peter Godrick.
3B: AS-Alex Green.
HR: CH-Landwehr; AS-Godrick.