HUNTINGDON, Pa. (March 19, 2016) – The USMMA baseball team split a Landmark Conference doubleheader on Saturday at Juniata – losing the first game, 9-0, but responding with a 5-1 win in the second. The Mariners' record moves to 3-8 (1-1 Landmark), while the Eagles move to 4-9 (1-1 Landmark).
In game one, the hosts jumped out to a 2-0 lead after one inning and then added another run in the bottom of the second. The Eagles blew the game open in the fifth inning when they brought six runs across.
The Mariners struggled to get on base, as they only had four hits in the game, while Juniata freshman starter Hunter Price pitched the complete game win. Freshman Andrew Spinenweber (Pasadena, Md.) suffered the loss allowing seven runs on nine hits with six strikeouts. In relief, senior Jeff Suciu (Zanesville, Ohio) tossed 1.2 innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on just one hit with one K.
Suciu shifted to left field for the second game and led the Mariners by going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. Merchant Marine got on the board first with two runs in the top of the third. They cashed in on a pair of errors by Juniata, as sophomore Steve Lucy (Leawood, Kan.) and junior Rick Kernan (Blythewood, S.C.) both came across thanks to the errors.
The Mariners added another run in the top of the fourth when Suciu – who led off with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt – scored from second on a single by freshman Jesse Reinebold (Granger, Ind.).
The Eagles responded with a run in the bottom of the sixth to make the score 4-1 in favor of USMMA, but the Mariners struck back in the next half-inning with two runs on a two-RBI single by Suciu the plated freshman Kai Vitella (Lewes, Del.) and sophomore Bryson Campbell (Cool, Calif.).
Junior Nathan Slusarczyk (Woodbury, N.J.) got the starting nod and earned the W after hurling six innings and allowing just one run on four hits with two strikeouts. Senior Brad Suciu (Zanesville, Ohio) sealed the victory with a scoreless seventh inning, allowing just one run and striking out one Eagle batter.
The Mariners are back in action on Sunday, when they close out the series against Juniata. The game time has been moved up to 11 a.m. due to the anticipated bad weather expected in the Northeast later in the afternoon. Live stats are available for the rubber game and can be accessed by clicking here.
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