Baseball: St. John’s wraps up week with a pair of dramatic wins

Third-ranked St. John’s finished last week with a pair of dramatic victories decided in unusual fashion in the final at-bat.

On Thursday, Spalding appeared to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh inning when two runs scored on a wild pitch and subsequent error. However, St. John’s Coach Mark Gibbs had noticed earlier in the inning that Spalding sent in a pinch runner who had played earlier in the game. After that runner scored, Gibbs emerged from the dugout, brought it to the umpires’ attention and the runner was called out. St. John’s held on for a 10-9 victory.

Then, on Saturday, after Good Counsel’s Kevin Doherty hit a game-tying home run in the seventh inning, the Cadets won it in the bottom of the ninth when Kyle Hamer was hit in the back by a pitch with the bases loaded and two outs for a 3-2 victory.

“It was an interesting week,” Gibbs said.

Michael Flax pitched the first seven innings against ninth-ranked Good Counsel, with Danny O’Donnell coming on in relief for the final two.

The Cadets (13-1, 9-0 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference) play four games on a spring break trip this week, beginning Tuesday at St. Anne’s Belfield in Charlottesville. . . . After starting the season with five losses in six games, Georgetown Prep has clawed its way back to .500. Sophomore Corey Howard, a transfer from St. John’s, pitched a two-hitter in 6-0 victory over Bullis last week, and the Little Hoyas (8-8) enter this week with a five-game winning streak.

“Some things have clicked a little bit, mainly defensively,” Georgetown Prep Coach Chris Rodriguez said.

The Little Hoyas had to adapt after would-be center fielder Tyler Fairbanks (George Washington) tore knee ligaments in February while playing basketball. Howard and junior Tyler Daley have helped fill in the outfield, Rodriguez said, and designated hitter John Rauber has been clutch at the plate.

While Howard has entrenched himself as the team’s No. 1 starter, Rodriguez is still looking for a solid No. 2, though he thinks that could be Duke recruit Mike Matuella.

Georgetown Prep’s early-season schedule has been ambitious, including games against No. 1 Lake Braddock, No. 7 Riverdale Baptist and No. 9 Good Counsel.

“There’s a lot of other teams I could play and have a winning record, but it’s a big, big bonus for us being ready to play” in the Interstate Athletic Conference, Rodriguez said. “For us, if we’re going to build the program we want, we’re going to have to continue to play those teams.”

 
Read what others are saying