Cavaliers snap three-game slide with 8-2 win over 9th-ranked Gilman

by Pat O’Malley

One team snapped a losing streak and the other started one in Severn Friday afternoon as No. 2 ranked Archbishop Spalding’s Josh Moylan answered the call from his coach to “show more leadership” to get the Cavaliers back on track.

Moylan, a senior first baseman/pitcher and an East Carolina University commit, went 4-for-4 with three doubles and three RBI and pitched two scoreless innings as the host Cavaliers snapped a three-game losing streak in the MIAA A Conference with an 8-2 victory over No. 9 Gilman School.

It was Gilman’s second consecutive conference loss (10-6 overall, 5-2 MIAA A) in two days, having dropped an 8-5 decision to streaking No. 20 Mount St. Joseph on Thursday. The latter Gaels dealt Spalding a 3-0 loss on Tuesday as senior John Torroella tossed a no-hitter.

Spalding (7-4, 3-3 MIAA A) )also lost on Thursday by 15-11 to McDonogh School as the Eagles’ big bopper, Kyle Whitaker, unloaded three dingers. Cavaliers coach Joe Palumbo had a man-to-man talk with Moylan after the loss.

Obviously the 6-foot-4, 225-pounder took it to heart and came out Friday on fire.

“He responded very well,” said coach Palumbo. “We talked after last night’s game about what I needed out of him and he responded in a huge way both at the plate and he threw two innings for us and closed the door. I told him I needed him to grow as a leader and accept that role and focus on being in the middle of the lineup (bats third). When he does that, he’s one of the best players in the state, if not more than that.”

Junior righthander, Nate Vermillion, another 6-foot-4 beast, started for the Cavaliers and went five innings only giving up the two runs and four hits – three of them doubles by the Greyhounds’ Tripp Myers, Tim McCambridge and Pierce Bennett. Vermillion struck out seven, walked three and hit a batter on 97 pitches.

Moylan then capped it off with two scoreless innings, not yielding a hit, striking out three and walking one.

“You’ve got to have good leadership, that’s where it starts,” said Moylan afterwards. “You’ve got to find a way to bring everybody together in tough times. We know we weren’t playing up to our standards and we knew we had to come out today and make a statement against a very good Gilman team.”

McCambridge led off the game with a two-bagger to left and later scored on Bennett’s sac-fly to center, but in its initial at-bat, the Cavs’ leadoff batter, Justin Caesar also doubled and scored. Moylan singled Caesar in to tie it one and Cory Blohm’s sac-fly to give the Cavaliers a 2-1 lead after an inning.

Gilman’s Tyler Martinez homered in the second to tie the game at 2-2, but the Hounds fortunes were short lived.

With the way Vermillion was pitching and Moylan and mates were swinging their bats, the four-run second inning that followed pretty much put the game away. Moylan drilled his first double in the second scoring a pair after Alex Green’s first of two singles and Caesar’s fielder’s choice had scored runs.

The Cavaliers added to their 6-2 lead with single runs in the fourth and sixth innings. An unearned run made it 7-2 and Blohm’s second RBI on a fielder’s choice capped the scoring in the sixth.

Spalding finished with six doubles in their 10-hit attack – Moylan had three of the two-baggers and Caesar one as mentioned with Al Barclay, who scored three times and Ethan McCormick hitting the others.

Playing an 18-game schedule, six teams will qualify for the MIAA A Conference Tournament that decides the league championship. The 10-team circuit is approaching the halfway mark with No. 4 Calvert Hall College (11-2, 6-0) leading followed by St. Joe (7-2, 5-1), Gilman (10-6, 5-2), McDonogh (6-5, 3-2), Spalding (7-4, 3-3) and No. 5 John Carroll (8-2, 2-2).   

Those are the six teams at this point with winning or .500 records. Defending champion, No.6 Archbishop Curley has slipped to 4-5 and 3-4.

“This league tests your will, your patience and your ability to respond to adversity,” said coach Palumbo. “Great coaches, great players, great pitching. It’s a blast, a lot of fun.”

Pictured above: Josh Moylan (right) went 4-for-4 with three doubles and three RBI’s and combined on the bump with Nate Vermillion as No. 2 Archbishop Spalding snapped a three-game losing streak with an 8-2 victory over No. 9 Gilman School on Friday in Severn.

Gilman 110 000 0 – 2 4 1
Spalding 240 101 x – 8 10 1
Maheshwari, Holmgren (2), Mather (4) and Mallas, Phillipou (5); Nate Vermillion, Josh Moylan (6) and Ben Wieman
2B: Gilman — Tim McCambridge, Tripp Myers and Pierce Bennett; Spalding — Justin Caesar, Al Barclay, Josh Moylan (3) and Ethan McCormick .
HR: Gilman — Tyler Martinez