Curley Bats Catch Fire As Friars Take MIAA A Championship

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On a beautiful Monday evening at Harford CC, the Archbishop Curley Friars pounded out 12 hits in route to their first MIAA "A" Conference Championship since 2001. Curley opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning when lead-off batter Tyler Locklear (VCU) took a 3-1 pitch over the centerfield fence for a solo homerun. Gilman would answer in the top of the third with a few hits of their own. Michael Mallas led off the inning with a base hit up the middle and courtesy runner Cole Philippou advanced to second base on slow roller to third. Back-to- back base hits by Maxwell Costes (Maryland) and Casey Bishop gave the Greyhounds the lead 2-1. Curley's Derrick Booker and Gilman's Mike Willis exchanged solo shots in the bottom of the third and top of the fourth respectively to make the game 3-2.

In the bottom of the fourth, Curley plated two runs and took a lead this time that they wouldn't relinquish. Gavin Evans reached on a fielder's choice and later scored on a ball that got away from the Greyhounds first basemen on a double play attempt to get out of the inning. Booker reached first base on the play and after a walk to Locklear to get into scoring position, Jalen March singled sharply to right field with what proved to be the go ahead and winning run.

Curley would add to their lead in the bottom of the fifth when with two outs, a walk and four consecutive hits plated four more runs to make it 8-3. Nick Brown (Towson) walked, Corey Burton (Salisbury) singled through the six-hole, Evans tripled off the wall in left field, Nick Richardson doubled down the third base line, and Booker singled to center field.

Curley senior starting pitcher and three-hole hitter Paul Nixon (Harford CC) recorded three hits on the night to go along with his six innings pitched on the mound. Nixon gave up three runs on eight hits, struck out six and walked one. It was a strong performance to finish his high school career on the same field he will be playing on next year in college. For the Friars, Burton, Richardson, and Booker each had two hits each to go along with Nixon's three and Evans added one. Richardson came on in the 7th inning for the Friars to seal the victory striking out the final batter of the game for one of his two strikeouts in the inning.

The Greyhounds were lead offensively by Bishop's three hits and Mallas's two hit performance. Costes, Willis, and Alex Slodzinski each had one hit. Freshman righty Peter Heubeck struck out seven in his three and two-thirds innings of work on the mound.