Washington, DC – The top-two seeds in the Landmark Conference Tournament met in an unlikely elimination game Sunday morning as Catholic knocked-off Merchant Marine, 3-0. Robin Mowatt (Rockville, MD) pitched eight shutout innings for the Cardinals, surrendering just five hits en route to his seventh win of the season. Timothy Arner (Allentown, PA) went the distance for the Mariners in the loss as the junior struck out four batters, giving up three runs on six hits.
Catholic (26-16) had the first serious threat of the game, loading the bases in the bottom of the second with a single and two walks. Stefan Poggioli (Middletown, NJ) lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to plate the first run of the game as the Cardinals grabbed a 1-0 advantage. USMMA starter Timothy Arner (Allentown, PA) limited the damage with a strikeout and routine ground ball to end the inning.
The Cardinals again took advantage of free passes to score a pair of runs in the fifth frame. Charlie Dillon (Chicago, IL) drew a one-out walk and was followed by Nick Clary, who was hit by a pitch. Mark Kalokitis (Hamilton, NJ) made it a 2-0 game with a RBI single to left. Two batters later Marc Hanna (Bloomfield, NJ) picked up a RBI and pushed the advantage to 3-0 after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Arner avoided a disastrous inning by recording back-to-back outs to strand the bases loaded.
Merchant Marine (19-16) started the top of the seventh with back-to-back singles from Warren Hartmann (Wyckoff, NJ) and Danny Collins (Sleepy Hollow, NY). However, the Mariners would be unable to advance the runners as Mowatt set down the next three hitters. USMMA got the tying run to the plate as Hartmann and Cameron Stadele (Alpharetta, GA) both deposited singles into left field. Chris Nee (Somerville, NJ) would end the game, securing his league leading ninth save of the year, and keep Catholic alive in the tournament by inducing a game ending 6-4-3 double play.
The Cardinals will advance to a second elimination game today at 4:00 pm against the loser of the #3 Moravian and #4 Scranton. The Mariners will now await word on a potential ECAC Tournament bid.