In proving the age old adage, “slow and steady wins the race,” St. Paul’s overcame a big early inning by Gilman to defeat the Greyhounds, 7-6, in 10 innings in a 3 hour, 10 minute MIAA A Conference baseball marathon, Monday in Roland Park.

The key for the Crusaders was seven innings of one-run relief from junior Andrew Agnone.

St. Paul’s got on the scoreboard first in the top of the third inning, scoring on a two RBI double by senior Robert Lucido to put the Crusaders up 2-0. In the bottom half of the inning, however, Gilman broke through against St. Paul’s, batting around and scoring five runs. Junior Thomas O’Neill, freshman Gavin Sheets, junior Steve Llanio and senior Luca Simmons each had an RBI in four consecutive at bats, ending Crusader starter Charlie Gaines day early, which brought Agnone into the game.

St. Paul’s then slowly climbed back into the game. Junior Herbie Trice hit a two RBI triple in the top of the fifth to pull the Crusaders within one. Gilman starter junior Matt Collins was able to get out of the fifth, before being pulled. Collins threw five innings, surrendering five hits and four earned runs and striking out five.  Agnone then surrendered his only run on the day in the bottom of the fifth, a sacrifice fly by Sheets to push the score to 6-4 in favor of the Greyhounds.

That 6-4 score held going into the top of the seventh. The first two Crusader batters struck out and lined out to second, putting Gilman within one out of winning the game. Then, the Crusaders rallied.

Lucido hit an RBI single to cut the deficit to one run. Several batters later, with the bases loaded, senior Paul Giulio took a hit-by-pitch for the tying RBI.  However, Gilman escaped the inning without further damage. Gilman was able to get the possible winning run in scoring position in the bottom of the seventh, but Agnone escaped, sending the game into extra innings.

Both teams went three up and three down in the eigth inning. St. Paul’s had a scoring chance in the top of the ninth, when junior Lamonte Wade singled, stole second, and advanced to third on a fly ball, putting the possible go-ahead run within 90 feet with only one out. With the infield drawn in, O’Neill made a diving play at shortstop and recorded the out at first, holding Wade at third. The next Crusader hitter grounded to first to end the inning.

St. Paul’s finally broke through in the top of the 10th inning.  Senior Ben Breckler reached on an infield single, and his pinch runner, sophomore Isiah Rose, stole second base with only one out. After St. Paul’s drew another hit-by-pitch, their fourth of the day, the next batter hit a taylor-made double play ballto short, but the relay got by the first baseman, allowing Rose to be awarded home on the overthrow.  St. Paul’s could not score any insurance runs and led 7-6 going into the bottom of the 10th.

In the bottom of the 10th, Gilman got the tying run to second base, but Agnone once again did not yield, getting the next batter to strike out, and getting the third and final out on a flyout to right field. Agnone got the win for the Crusaders, pitching seven innings of relief, allowing just one earned run, three hits and two walks,, one of them intentional. 

With St. Paul’s win today coupled with Spalding’s loss to Calvert Hall, the Crusaders and Cavaliers are tied for second place in the league at 6-3. St. Paul’s will host Spalding on Wednesday, in a rematch of an epic game earlier in the season when the Cavaliers came back twice, defeating the Crusaders in extra innings. Gilman falls to 3-5 in the MIAA, and will host Calvert Hall on Wednesday.

St. Paul’s 7, Gilman 6, 10 innings
SP 002 020 200 1 — 7 9 4
GIL 005 010 000 0 — 6 8 2

WP: Agnone    LP: Sheets
Gaines, Agnone (4) and R Lucido; Collins, Dunbar (6), Llanio (7), Sheets (10) and Slodzinski
2B: SP- R Lucido; G- Llanio, Durham, Simmons.
3B: SP- Trice.