Spalding's baseball team made its first postseason appearance in a dozen years, advancing to the final of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference before losing to Mount St. Joseph, 2-0.
Spalding (23-10) had defeated the Gaels in the second round of the double-elimination tournament, then lost to them, 6-5, on May 27 to set up the deciding game Friday at Towson University.
"I don't think we lost because we did anything or didn't do something -- St. Joe's was just better than we were in that game," Spalding Coach Steve Miller said. "They just beat us."
Mount St. Joseph's (28-6) got a stellar performance from junior right-hander Brad Miller, who pitched a six-hitter to lift his team to its first conference title in 17 years.
Despite the loss, Spalding had plenty of accomplishments this season. The Cavaliers won nine more games than they had last season and had a school-record four players earn Division I baseball scholarships: catcher Justin Perry (Marshall), third baseman Drew Poiter (Richmond), center fielder Brandon Woods (Mount St. Mary's) and pitcher Andrew Germuth (Mount St. Mary's).
"Getting to see four of my players get to keep playing after they graduate from high school means more to me than all the games we won," Miller said. "There are not a lot of teams that have four players go on and play in college."
Falcons' Taglienti Stands Tall
The shortest player on the Severna Park boys' lacrosse team played the biggest role in a 13-11 victory over Westminster in the Maryland 4A/3A final last week at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Sophomore attack Frank Taglienti posted a career-high three goals and two assists to lead the No. 10 Falcons to their first state title in five years.
"I just wanted to make sure I did whatever I could out there to help us win," Taglienti said. "But it was a total team effort."
Though Taglienti had been overshadowed by the play of senior attack Andrew Lusby and junior attack Ben Hunt, who combined to score more than 100 goals this season, the 5-foot-5 Taglienti took advantage of a Westminster defense that keyed on the Falcons' top two scorers.
"Frank had the opportunity to make a difference out there, and he made one, and we really needed him to step up for us," said Severna Park Coach Jim Beardmore, whose team finished the season 16-4.
St. Mary's-Annapolis Wins Title
The St. Mary's-Annapolis baseball team earned its first Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference title by posting a 9-5 victory over defending champion Chapelgate Christian at Towson University on May 27.
The Saints (19-10), trailing 5-4 entering the bottom of the sixth, scored five runs to deny the Yellowjackets (14-8) their third conference title in six years.
St. Mary's right-handed reliever John Graham-Green picked up the win by holding the Yellowjackets to one run on three hits in three innings after taking over for senior starter Scott Hartman.
The Saints' victory capped an impressive turnaround for a team that opened the season with five losses in six games.
"After the first five or six games, I didn't think we'd be able to contend for a championship, but then we won seven games in a row, and it turned our whole season around," St. Mary's Coach Dave Lanham said. "We kept getting better and better and got some momentum and kept it going all the way through the playoffs."