Dragons eliminate AACS, 9-1; Torroella pitches St. Joe past Loyola, 1-0
Glenelg Country and Mount St. Joseph each won MIAA baseball playoff elimination games, Thursday, to stay alive in their respective double-elimination tournaments and each will have an opportunity on Friday to play for spot in the finals, with GCS in the B Conference and MSJ in the A.
In the B Conference, Glenelg Country moved one step closer to returning to the finals for a second straight year as the top-seeded Dragons eliminated Annapolis Area Christian, 9-1, in Ellicott City.
The sixth-seeded Eagles have made some noise in this tournament with two consecutive elimination bracket victories but they were stymied on Thursday by the offerings of GCS ace Tyler Russo.
Glenelg Country (18-4) jumped on top quickly, scoring four runs before an out was recorded in the bottom of the first inning. Kevin Gamble led off with a double over the center-fielder’s head and Russo added a double over the right-fielder’s head to highlight the inning. The Dragons went on to score another three runs in the second inning to put the game out of reach.
Russo held the AACS offense in check for a complete game victory allowing only one run in the first inning and scattering five hits and one walk to pick up his ninth victory of the season. Russo struck out seven batters with the final strikeout giving him 100 strikeouts for the season.
Evan Haulik had nice game at the plate for Annapolis Area (12-13), going 2-for-4 and scoring a run, while Issac Miller had the only RBI.
Glenelg Country will host fourth-seeded Gerstell Academy (14-7) on Friday in a battle for the right to advance to Harford Community College, on Monday, to face three-time defending champion Boys’ Latin (19-6) in the finals. BL reached the finals undefeated so the Glenelg Country/Gerstell winner will need to defeat the Lakers twice to end their title reign.
In the A Conference, St. Joe, as it has done in many of its big wins this spring, relied on the right-arm of ace John Torroella in defeating Loyola.
Torroella allowed just one hit in a complete game masterpiece and he struck out 10 Dons. Problem was, Mikey Jensen was just as sensation on the mound for Loyola as he also tossed a complete game one-hitter with 10 strike outs.
The difference turned out to be the single run St. Joe scratched out in the top of the fifth inning. Travis Leatherwood drew a lead-off walk, moved to second on an error and advance to third on a fielder’s choice, with one out. Jensen then struck out Dylan Wyandt, but walked Ripken Reese to keep the inning alive. Josh Lantz then delivered what proved to be the game-winning hit with a single to right.
St. Joe will (20-9) now travel to second-seeded Gilman (21-10) on Friday for another elimination game. The winner will advance to the tournament finals on Monday at Harford Community College where they will battle top-seeded Calvert Hall (23-6). Calvert Hall is undefeated in the tournament and needs just win for the championship while their opponent in the finals will need two.
Loyola completed its season at 15-10.