KINGS POINT, N.Y. – The United States Merchant Marine Academy swept a double-header against conference rival Susquehanna University on in Pelinsgrove, Pa. on Saturday. The Mariners improved to 5-5 overall and 2-0 in Landmark Conference matchups while the Crusaders fell to 7-8 and 0-2 in conference play.
The first game was all about the pitching, namely Mariners senior Andy Martin, who earned the win by throwing a complete game shutout. Martin allowed seven hits and struck out two over 7 innings of work. Martin is 1-0 on the season, and has pitched 10 consecutive scoreless innings for the Mariners over the last week. Zach Place took the loss for the Crusaders, allowing three runs, one earned, on five hits in 7 innings.
Thanks to Martin's strong performance, the Mariners' three runs would be more than enough to hold on for the win. Sophomore Warren Hartmann went 2-3 with an RBI single in the top of the sixth – the only earned run allowed by Place. Senior John Hubach was also 2-3 with a run scored on the day.
The second game continued much as the first had, with the Mariners showing pitching dominance and the Crusaders struggling to find answers at the plate. Junior Dustin Thomsen earned the win for the Mariners, bringing his record to 2-0. Thomsen gave up just one run on four hits and struck out six over 7 innings of work. Crusaders junior Brian Wendig took the loss, allowing five runs, two earned, on six hits over 4 1/3.
The Mariners wasted no time in getting on the board, scoring four runs in the first inning to start the game. With runners on the corners, freshman Cameron Stadele reached on a fielder's choice that knocked in Andy Martin from third for the first run. Sophomore John Martin followed with an RBI single and later scored when sophomore Danny Collins reached on an error. Sophomore Nicholas Kopacka doubled, knocking in Collins from third and giving the Mariners an early 4-0 lead.
Thanks to Thomsen's strong start, the Mariners would never relinquish their early lead. The only Crusader run came in the bottom of the third inning off an RBI single from senior Calvin Hug. John and Andy Martin both went 2-3 each with a run scored. Kopacka also recorded 2 hits, going 2-4 with an RBI on the day.
Next up for the United States Merchant Marine Academy will be another matchup against Susquehanna University on Sunday in Pelinsgrove, Pa.