An error-plagued Friar defense and timely Gael hitting broke open a scoreless game in the top of the fifth, as visiting Mount St. Joseph High School defeated the 2018 MIAA-A Conference Champion Archbishop Curley High School 5-0 March 20. Curley came into the game ranked sixth in the Baltimore Sun Top 15 poll.
Originally scheduled as a home contest for the Gaels, the first-day-of-spring match-up turned into the second of a three-game home stand for the Friars when the game was moved to the Sinclair Lane campus. The Friars were coming off a 10-0 shutout against St. Mary’s High School of Annapolis days before.
Mount St. Joe’s senior starter John Torroella turned in a gritty 11-strikeout complete-game effort, which included stranding six Curley runners during bases-loaded second and third innings.
Curley’s Colton Knoble started off the home half of the second with a ground ball and a Mount St. Joe throwing error putting him on second. A hit batter and a single with no outs loaded the bases. Torroella struck out two of the next three batters ending the scoring threat.
In the bottom of the third, Curley once again loaded the bases with a leadoff walk, single to center, and a throwing error by Mount St. Joe shortstop Dylan Wyandt. Torroella dug in by striking out the side leaving the Friars stranded for a second time in his shutout performance.
Curley sophomore starter Jake Michel tossed nine strikeouts, keeping the Friars and Gaels deadlocked early on. Friar throwing errors and missed ground balls let the game slip away in the fifth.
Mount St. Joe’s Michael Rosen and Matthew McManus reached base on two throwing errors that put men on first and second when a bunt forced a third Curley throwing error that gave the Gaels a 1-0 lead. The inning ended with Mount St. Joe scoring four of their five runs.
Mount St. Joe’s Dylan Wyandt drove in two RBIs, and Michael Morrison and Josh Lantz each had one.
Curley reliever Tim Fair started the sixth pitching to one batter, then Will Riley came in for a lefty-to-lefty matchup. Dorian Allen made an outstanding catch in foul territory down the first base line from his second-base position. A Friar double play ended the Mount St. Joe sixth.
The Gael’s seventh inning saw a second scoring threat, as Curley first baseman Colton Knobble snagged a diving liner saving extra bases for the first out if the inning.
Alvin Carela, Curley’s fourth pitcher of the game, hit Torrella at the plate. Torrella advanced to second on a passed ball. Josh Lantz drilled a double to deep center allowing the fifth run to score cementing the 5-0 Mount St. Joe’s win.
Curley’s Trent Williams singled in the bottom of the seventh giving life to the Friars. But again, Mount St. Joe’s Torroella retired the next three batters giving the Gaels their first MIAA-A Conference victory of the season and extending their record to 4-1 overall.
Curley head coach Brooks Norris noted after the game that the Friars graduated six seniors from their 2018 championship team, and there will be a learning curve going forward.
The conference victory was a first for new Gaels skipper and 2004 alum Phillip Kraska, who was a member of Mount St. Joseph’s 2004 MIAA Championship team.
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