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USMMA Defeats #22 Moravian, 5-2, in Landmark Conference Tournament Opener

Bethlehem, PA – Freshman Patrick Morgan (Roxboro, NC) spun a complete game gem, allowing no earned runs, as the USMMA baseball team defeated regular season champion #22 Moravian in the opening round of the 2014 Landmark Conference Tournament.  Joseph Policastro (Hauppague, NY) provided the go-ahead RBI in the seventh inning while Warren Hartmann (Wyckoff, NJ) was 3-for-4 at the plate with one RBI.

USMMA (21-11-1) scratched out the first run of the game in the top of the first inning to take a quick lead.  Quinn Fleming (Ashburn, VA) was hit by a pitch to start the game and moved to second base by an Andrew MacKinnon (Buffalo, NY) sacrifice bunt.  Hartmann deposited a double down the right field line to make it a 1-0 contest.

Moravian (29-9) quickly evened it at 1-1 with the help of a two-out error from the Mariners in the bottom of the first.  Another two-out error set the stage for the Greyhounds to take the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning.  Anthony Gaetanniello took advantage of the extended inning with a RBI single into right center that gave the home team a 2-1 edge.

MacKinnon came up with the game tying hit for USMMA in the top of the seventh as he roped a bases loaded single to right field.  Jacob Wood (Richmond, VA), who started the two-out rally, crossed the plate but the potential go-ahead run was cut down at home as the Greyhounds kept it level at 2-2.

The middle of the Mariners order set the table in the top of the eighth as Hartmann, Danny Collins (Sleepy Hollow, NY), and Jake Martin (San Diego, CA) all reached safely to load the bases with no outs.  Policastro registered a productive out with a ground ball to push USMMA in front, 3-2.  Freshman Richard Kernan (Blythewood, SC) hammered a single to center field that chased home Collins to make it 4-2 but the Greyhounds were able to throw out Martin at the dish.

Collins gave USMMA another insurance run in the top of the ninth with a two-out RBI single up the middle.  Morgan got stronger as the game went on as the rookie retired the final 13 batters he faced against the tough Moravian lineup.  The final out of the day came on a ground ball to Hartmann at second base as the Mariners secured the 5-2 triumph to advance to the winners' bracket of the 2014 Landmark Conference Tournament.

USMMA will take on either second-seed Susquehanna or third-seed Catholic tomorrow at 12:30 pm with a spot in the Landmark Conference Championship on the line.