Playing at home, the top-ranked Archbishop Spalding suffered a setback, Friday, in its quest to win the top seed in the MIAA A Conference and an 8-6 upset loss to visiting Mount Saint Joseph, in MIAA A Conference baseball. It was the Cavaliers second loss this week.
Spalding (15-4 overall) took an early lead, scoring twice in the top of the first on a RBI double by Nick Vermillion and a run-producing single by Kris Burkowski. MSJ answered with a run in the second when Matt Gibbs reached on a bunt, stole second and came home on a single by Justin Looney.
In the top of the third, the Gaels (7-12 overall) scored six times to take the lead for good. Connor Feustle walked and scored on Zach Putman’s double in the left-field corner. Michael McManus bunted for a hit and an errant throw allowed Putman to score and McManus to reach second. Matt Gibbs followed and singled home McManus. Gibbs stole second and scored on a single by Luke Hess. Nick Torroella and Jack Stilling followed with walks to load the bases, setting the table for Connor Feustle, who singled to right to drive in Hess and Torroella.
Spalding got one run back in the third when Justin Caesar doubled and later scored on Jack Triolo’s sac fly to center. In the fourth, the Cavaliers scored twice, pulling within 7-5, when Caesar singled to drive in Alex Green, who had singled earlier in the inning. A walk forced in the second run.
Matt Conley closed the door for the Gaels and pitched into the seventh inning. Spalding threatened in the seventh when Vermillion singled and Burkowski walked. After, a fielder’s choice ground out, Peter Godrick also walked to load the bases. Michael McManus came on for St. Joe and got a ground ball to short for another force at second, but Vermillion scored. With two outs and runners on first and third, McManus struck out Green to close out the victory.
Feustle was 3-for-3 for the Gaels with a double, three RBI and a run scored. Putman also doubled for St. Joe.
St. Joe used four pitchers to navigate the contest with Jake Howell making the start and going 3.1 innings to claim the win. He allowed four runs on four hits, struck out four and walked three.
Cameron Webb made the start for Spalding and suffered the loss. He was knocked out in the third after allowing five hits and six runs.
Caesar and Vermillion each had two hits for the Cavaliers.
With the loss, Spalding dropped to 9-3 in the A Conference and the Cavaliers are a full game back of Calvert Hall, which defeated Archbishop Curley on Friday night to improve to 10-2. St. Joe is now 2-9 league play.