Kings Point, NY – The USMMA baseball team defeated Old Westbury, 6-3, Friday afternoon in the ECAC Metro Region quarterfinals at Lower Roosevelt Field. Hunter Titus (Granbury, TX) paced the Mariners with two RBI, two runs scored, and a 3-for-4 performance at the plate. Kyle Clausen (Southold, NY) picked up the victory on the mound with six strong innings.
Old Westbury (25-16-1) opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning as Paul Valerio (Merrick, NY) led-off the frame with a single and promptly stole second base. He would cross the plate two batters later on a John Angelino (Shirley, NY) sacrifice fly that made it a 1-0 affair.
Merchant Marine (20-16) immediately evened the game in the top of the second as Titus slapped a RBI single into left field. Keil Silva (Castle Rock, CO) put USMMA on top with a two-run, two-out single that gave the Mariners a 3-1 edge.
The Panthers continued to use aggressive base running to cut into their deficit in the fifth inning. Peter Romeo (Lindenhurst, NY) would draw a leadoff walk and steal second base to put himself in scoring position. Steve Mare (Whitestone, NY) singled home Romeo as Old Westbury pulled to within one at 3-2.
The Mariners answered back with two runs in the top of the sixth as Quinn Fleming (Ashburn, VA) and Titus posted back-to-back doubles to increase the USMMA advantage to 4-2. Nicholas Nalette (Goffstown, NH) slashed a single down the right field line to move the cushion to 5-2 and chase the Panthers' starter from the game.
Old Westbury threatened to have a big inning in the bottom of the sixth, putting runners on second and third with only one out. However, Clausen limited the second-seed to just one run on a Romeo sacrifice fly before escaping the inning with a 5-3 lead still intact. Merchant Marine posted an insurance run in the top of the following inning with infield singles from Danny Collins (Sleepy Hollow, NY) and Fleming along with a fielding error that t made it 6-3.
Jake Martin (San Diego, CA) closed the door with a three-inning save in which he struck out five batters. The Mariners 6-3 victory avenged a 5-4 loss in 10 innings to the Panthers in the regular season.
USMMA will now face #6 SUNY Purchase in Purchase, NY in the semifinals of the ECAC Metro Championships at 12:00 pm. The winner of that game will take-on the winner of #1 St. John Fisher and #6 Rutgers-Camden at 3:00 pm for the ECAC Metro Region Championship.