St. Paul’s opened its 2011 baseball season on the road last week, playing five games during a trip to Orlando, Fla. and Walt Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

The Crusaders won three of the five games they played in Florida and here is a recap of each of those contests.

March 14
The Crusaders played their fist game last Monday against Wilson Central (TN) and rolled to a 12-6 victory.

St. Paul’s was led by seniors Charlie Gaines, who was 3-for-5 at the plate and pitched four innings with just two earned runs, and Robert Lucido, who had five RBI and a homerun. In a sloppy game for both teams, junior London Fitzhugh broke a 4-4 tie in the 6th inning with an RBI single, and the Crusaders never looked back, outscoring the Wildcats 8-2 in the final two innings.  Sophomore Isiah Rose got the win in relief of Gaines.

St. Paul’s 12, Wilson Central (TN) 6
SP: 021 105 3 — 12 9 6
WC: 121 002 0 — 6 6 6

WP: Rose   LP: McEntire
Gaines, Rose (5) and R. Lucido; Chester, McEntire (3), Fish (6), Byrd (7) and Prendergast.
2B: SP-Gaines.
3B: SP-Wade.
HR: SP- Lucido

March 15
Last Tuesday, St. Paul’s played Jackson Prep (MS), which has won six of the last eight Mississippi 3A State Championships.  The Crusaders prevailed, 10-6, by holding off a late rally.

St. Paul’s jumped on the Patriots early, leading 5-0 after two innings, with the big hit being a bases clearing three-run triple by junior Lamonte Wade.

The Crusaders were led by Wade, who pitched four innings, giving up one run on three hits with 4 strikeouts, getting the win.  Wade also went 3-for-3 with a double and a triple and had three RBI to help his cause.  Robert Lucido went 3-for-4 with a double, a triple, and 3 RBI.

St. Paul’s 10, Jackson Prep (MS) 6
JP: 000 141 0 — 6 6 2
SP: 140 320 X — 10 9 6

WP: Wade    LP: Brad
Brad, Schnader (4), Mishelly (5), Kendell (6) and Gordon; Wade, Rawlings (5), Giulio (7) and R. Lucido.
2B: SP- Wade, R. Lucido.
3B: SP- Wade, R. Lucido.

March 16
The Crusaders suffered their first loss of 2011 on Wednesday, as they fell, 7-5, to Covenant Christian Academy of Louisiana.

The Lions jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings, but the Crusaders came back and tied the game up in the top of the fourth with a four-run inning.

Covenant scored one run each in the bottom of the 4th, 5th and 6th innings to jump out to a 7-4 lead. The Lions were able to stop a late St. Paul’s rally in the seventh inning, retiring the side with the winning run at the plate.

Covenant Christan Academy (LA) 7, St. Paul’s 5
SP- 000 400 1 — 5 5 4
CC- 310 111 0 — 7 12 2

WP: Neil   LP: Agnone
Agnone, Sutor (5) and Lucido, R, Breckler (5); Knight, Neil (4) and Herbert.
2B: SP-Trice, Gaines; CC-Guthert.

March 17
On Thursday, it was an early wake-up call as the Crusaders faced an 8:00 a.m. test against Mercersberg (PA).  With some lingering fog hanging over the field and the sun just rising at the game’s start, the Crusaders topped the Blue Storm, 7-5.

Mercersberg’s team included players who will play at the University of Virginia and Harvard University next year. St. Paul’s was led by senior Paul Giulio, who struck out 10 batters in four innings, giving up one hit and no runs

When Giulio left the game, St. Paul’s lead 6-0. However, Mercersberg rallied, scoring 2 runs in the fifth and three runs in the seventh, and had the bases loaded with the score 7-5, when sophmore Austin Sutor induced a Mercersberg batter to ground into a force out, saving the game for the Crusaders.

St. Paul’s 7; Mercersberg (PA) 5
SP: 102 301 0 — 7 8 2
M:  000 020 3 — 5 5 3

WP: Giulio  LP: Levangie  SV: Sutor
Giulio, Rose (5), Sutor (7) and R. Lucido; Levangie, Olszewski and Wastler, Rodgers (6).
2B: SP-Sutor, Wade; M- Timoney, Vasquez.
3B: SP-R. Lucido.

March 18
On Friday, St. Paul’s suffered a heartbreaking, 4-3, loss to the St. Laurence Vikings from Illinois.

The Crusaders left the bases loaded after the first and second innings, only scoring one run total.  St. Paul’s jumped out to a 3-0 lead after a hit by pitch, walk, single and RBI groundout led to two runs. However, in the bottom of the fourth, St. Laurence took advantage of two Crusader errors, rallying to score three runs

The Crusaders could not push another run across, despite having two runners in scoring position and no outs in the sixth inning. The Crusaders would leave 10 runners on base on the day. In the bottom of the seventh, the Vikings took their first lead of the game on a lead-off triple and a walkoff single, winning the game 4-3.

St. Laurence 4, St. Paul’s 3
SP:  010 200 0 — 3 6 3
SL:  000 300 1 — 4 7 0

WP: Kornacker  LP: Rawlings
Gaines, Wade (5), Rawlings (6) and Breckler, R. Lucido (7); Altobella, Skora (4), Samansky (6), Kornaker (6) and Villanova.
2B: SL-Chimera.
3B: SP-Trice; SL-Solofra.

St. Paul’s now awaits the opening of its MIAA A Conference league schedule, which gets underway Wednesday with a visit from McDonogh.