The USMMA baseball team completed a three-game season sweep of Landmark Conference rival Scranton by winning both ends of a double header Monday evening. The two teams played in the home of AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, PNC Field, as the Mariners victories by the score of 10-3 and 5-4. Cameron Stadele (Alpharetta, GA) hit a grand slam in game one while Jake Martin (San Diego, CA) sent game two to extra innings with a late RBI and also picked up the victory on the mound.
Game 1: USMMA 10 – Scranton 3
USMMA jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning of game one of the twin bill. Joseph Policastro (Hauppague, NY) had a RBI single while Quinn Fleming (Ashburn, VA) lifted a sacrifice fly to plate the second run. The Mariners advantage grew to 5-0 in the fourth inning with the big hit coming in the form of an Andrew MacKinnon (Buffalo, NY) two-run single up the middle.
Freshman Jeff Wright (Las Vegas, NV) pitched 5.2 innings and surrendered two earned runs on just one hit while walking five batters. Stadele's grand slam broke the game open in the top of the sixth to provide USMMA with a comfortable cushion down the stretch. Brad Suciu (Zanesville, OH) took the mound for the final 1.1 innings and secured the 10-3 victory in game one.
Game 2: USMMA 5 – Scranton 4 (7 Inn):
The Mariners posted one run in the first inning of game two as Hartmann and Collins combined to manufacture a run with two-outs. Warren Hartmann (Wyckoff, NJ) singled through the left side and immediately stole second, setting up a RBI single from Danny Collins (Sleepy Hollow, NY) that made it 1-0. However, the Royals would answer right back with two runs in the bottom of the first thanks to a two-run single off the bat of Ross Danzig.
USMMA knotted the game at 2-2 in the third following a successful double steal from Collins and Stadele. Martin picked up the RBI with a ground ball to the right side of the infield. The Royals gave the Mariners the lead on the next play of the game, dropping a fly ball to allow unearned run to cross the plate.
Scranton put together a rally in its half of the fourth and a Brian Healey bases-loaded walk forced-in the tying run. Stadele, the Mariners game two starter, escaped further damage by striking out Danzig to end the threat. Stadele finished the day with seven strikeouts in four innings on the mound. However, the Royals edged in front, 4-3, with a single from Nick Papillo in the bottom of the sixth.
Martin took the mound in relief in a tight spot, inheriting a bases loaded, one-out jam. The senior induced a double play to limit the damage and keep the Mariners close heading into the seventh. Martin would play the hero again in the top of the seventh with a game-tying single that brought home Collins and sent the game to extra innings.
USMMA pushed ahead in extras in the top of the ninth without the benefit of a hit. Collins and Stadele both were issued walks, followed by a sacrifice bunt from Martin. Richard Kernan (Blythewood, SC) supplied the eventual game winning RBI with a ground out to second that gave the Mariners a 5-4 lead heading to the bottom of the ninth. Martin worked around a walk, single, and error to seal the win and double header sweep for USMMA after his 3.2 innings of work.