Greyhounds knock out No. 8 St. Joe, 10-2 and earn another shot at top-seeded Calvert Hall in the finals; Gerstell overwhelms top-seeded Glenelg Country to reach B Conference finals

by Joe DiBlasi

Gilman’s Matt Leikus held No. 8 Mount Saint Joseph to one unearned run and one hit in six innings of work, Friday afternoon in Roland Park, to lead the second-seeded Greyhounds to a 10-2 win in the final elimination game of the 2019 MIAA A Conference double-elimination baseball tournament.

With the win, the Hounds (22-10) earned the right to face Calvert Hall on Monday evening (6:00 p.m.) in the tournament finals at Harford Community College. Gilman, which also reached the finals from the elimination bracket last year, will have to win twice to capture the crown. Calvert Hall (23-6), which is undefeated in the tournament thus far, needs to win just once to win its 12th league title, but its first since 2013.

Gilman, which has won the title just twice (1996 and 2010) got three quick runs in bottom of the first inning, all of which were unearned, when the Gaels (15-10) made three infield errors.

Matt Leikus held Mount St. Joe to one run (unearned) and one hit in six innings, and he fanned nine.

“The mistakes in the first inning hurt, and they capitalized on the errors, but I give credit to Gilman,” said St. Joe first year coach Phil Kraska. “They played good defense, they put the ball in play and they’ve been tough all year. They played a great game today.”

Gilman added six more in a five-hit fifth inning. keyed by a two-run single by Pierce Bennett and a two-run triple from Tripp Myers.

“The Calvert Hall loss on Monday was devastating, but we came back
today,” said Bennett. “Today we focused on small ball, and we battled one through nine and I’m very proud of my team.”

Myers concurred.

“This was a team win,” added Myers. “Mount St. Joe is a fantastic team, but today was our day.”

Tyler Martinez, who was moved into the cleanup spot by coach Larry Sheets on Friday, lead a nine-hit attack off of three Mount pitchers, with two singles, a triple, an RBI and he scored three runs.

“I was trying to spot my fastball and get ahead of them, and come back with my curveball,” said Leikus, who struck out nine and was never in trouble. “We lost twice to Mount St. Joe this season and we wanted revenge. I really wanted this one, and our bats came through behind me.”

Sheets was especially pleased knowing that his staff has two days off before the title game.

“We we’ll get our pictures ready for Monday and we will have a chance to win the championship,” said Sheets. “I think we were fortunate that Torroella (St. Joe’s ace hurler) pitched yesterday. In my opinion, added Sheets, we dodged the best pitcher in the league today. He’s really solid.”

Pictured above: (from left) Tyler Martinez had three hits, including a triple, and one RBI, Pierce Bennett had two RBI’s, and Tripp Myers had a triple and two RBI’s to lead the Gilman lineup.

MSJ 001 000 1 — 2 3 5
GIL 300 601 x — 10 8 2
Gray, McManus (4) Mills (7) and Looney; Leikus, Myers (7), and Mallas
3B: GIL-Tripp, T. Martinez.
WP- GIL-Leikus LP-MSJ-Gray

In the B Conference, Gerstell Academy reached its second consecutive league final with a stunning, 15-2, five-inning win over top-seeded Glenelg Country, Friday in Ellicott City.

Although Gerstell (15-7) had already defeated Glenelg Country (18-5) twice this season, the Dragons were the most consistent team in the regular season. Friday, however, they were never in it with the Falcons, who erupted for 11 runs in the top of the third inning.

The offensive onslaught came from doubles by Reece Early, Jerry Torrence and Elias Rimel. Daniel Burns added a triple and Chris Hagan blasted his sixth home run of the season to top-off the inning.

The Falcons led 4-1 after a pair of runs in the first and second innings. Gerstell’s 15 hits (in 5 innings) were a season high and seven of those were extra-base hits. Hagan and Early led the team with four and three RBI’s, respectively.

Graham Vaeth took the mound for the Falcons and scattered six hits over five innings while striking out two.

On Monday (4:00 p.m.), the Falcons will challenge three-time defending champion Boys’ Latin (19-6) in the tournament finals, also Harford Community College. Boys’ Latin needs one win to make it four straight championships, Gerstell needs a pair of wins take its first B Conference crown.

If either or both tournaments go to an “if game,” those will be on Tuesday, against at HCC.