[Baltimore Sun] No. 1 Spalding baseball runs its MIAA A record to 11-0 with 10-0 win over John Carroll

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Whether it’s a pitchers’ duel, a slugfest or somewhere in between, No. 1 Archbishop Spalding baseball has shown a penchant to win.

On Wednesday, junior right-hander Peyton Mamula had his entire repertoire working against visiting John Carroll. And when the offense got going in the middle innings — plating four runs each in the fourth and fifth — the Cavaliers had yet another Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference win, this one by a 10-0 count against the Patriots in a game that was called in the fifth inning.

Spalding (16-3) improved to 11-0 in conference play, having already clinched a playoff berth with seven games left.

Mamula, banking on his curveball and fastball and mixing in a slider and changeup, allowed one hit with four strikeouts. The Cavaliers’ lineup pounded out 11 hits, walked five times and executed two sacrifice bunts. Defensively, the home team made one infield error that came with two outs in the fifth inning while owning a 6-0 lead.

“We’re starting to hit our stride where we’re playing complete baseball and I think we’re going to be really hard to beat,” Spalding coach Joe Palumbo said. “We value our practice time, especially this time of year when it’s limited with a lot of games. We put a lot of hard work into our practices to prepare our players and they take it very seriously because they want to be competitive and they want to win.”

After catcher Jack McNally hit a run-scoring double to make it 3-0 after three innings, the Cavaliers peppered the Patriots (10-6, 5-6) with singles to put the game away in the fourth and fifth.

Carson Merritt and Carver Salazar opened the fourth with singles and Sam Houchens turned a sacrifice bunt attempt into a single to load the bases. After Jacob Ruiz walked in a run against John Carroll starting pitcher Brooks Mueller, Braeden Martin hit a run-scoring single, and Cruz Luna walked in another run.

In the fifth inning against Patriots relievers Cyrus McGlumphy and Jack Hudson, four singles, two walks and a sacrifice bunt helped Spalding plate three runs before pinch hitter Anthony Badillo ended the game with a sacrifice fly that made it 10-0, enforcing the mercy rule.

On the mound, Mamula was happy to efficiently do his part.

“I think it was a really good team win. We know John Carroll has a really good lineup — one to nine,” he said. “They were all giving me a good fight fouling off pitches and battling. I think the main thing was I had my curveball working. It found the zone well and I was locating at the outside corner and they weren’t hitting it.”

Leadoff hitter Braeden Martin had three singles with two RBIs and one run scored to lead the Cavaliers’ balanced offense. Spalding’s six through nine hitters scored seven runs with Salazar finishing with three singles and two runs scored.

With seven league games remaining and second place Loyola Blakefield owning an 8-5 league mark, the next goal for the Cavaliers is locking up first place, which could happen soon. Palumbo is taking nothing for granted.

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“We need to keep getting better and prepare ourselves for what’s going to be a very competitive week come playoff time and we want to do that by finishing the regular season strong,” he said.

For John Carroll, Mueller pitched well before running into trouble in the fourth. Spalding’s runs in the first and third innings were both unearned with the Patriots committing three errors. After losing the opener of the three-game set against Spalding, 6-3, on Monday, the Patriots will try to solve the Cavaliers at home on Friday. Coach Darrion Siler remains optimistic.

“They did their job on the mound, they executed in the field and hats off to them. We’ll tip the cap, come back Friday and get the next one,” he said.

“The message to the team was continue the course, stick with the process. One game, one play, one pitch does not a season make. So it’s about resilience, it’s about believing in the process and ourselves and what we know we’re capable of.”

Spalding will host Severna Park at 4:30 p.m. Thursday before traveling to John Carroll on Friday.

John Carroll  — 0-0-0-0-0 — 0-1-3

Spalding — 1-0-1-4-4 — 10-11-2

WP: Mamula

LP: Mueller

2B: S — McNally

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