FORT MYERS, Fla. (March 6, 2017) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy baseball team lost its early-morning matchup against arch-rival Coast Guard, 6-4, on Monday down in Florida on the second day of the Gene Cusic Classic. The loss drops the Mariners to 0-3 to start the season, while the Bears improve to 3-4.
USMMA jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first after back-to-back singles by senior Matthew Thomson (Memphis, Tenn.) and junior Michael Barnes (Alexandria, Va.) and then later a walk loaded the bases with one out. Freshman Matt Mundorf (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) was hit by a pitch to bring Thomson home before junior Alex Gambino (Haddonfield, N.J.) hit into an RBI fielder's choice that scored Barnes and also plated senior Francis Grzymkowsi (Stafford, Va.), who came across thanks to a throwing error.
Coast Guard responded with four runs in the top of the third – the first two on a one-out single and then a sacrifice fly, but the third and go-ahead runs were scored on a costly Mariner error.
The Mariners tied the score up at 4-4 in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI sacrifice by junior Steve Lucy (Leawood, Kan.) that brought Gambino home.
The Bears reclaimed the lead the next half-inning on a two-run single and then the Coast Guard pitching staff allowed just one Mariner runner the remainder of the game, striking out six along the way, including all three batters in the bottom of the ninth.
Freshman Ben Kane (Fountain Valley, Calif.) got the start for the Mariners and pitched four innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits with six strikeouts. Classmate Garrick Colorado (Williamsburg, Va.) suffered the loss after hurling three innings and giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits with four K's. Sophomore John Kelly Jr. (Apex, N.C.) and Grzymkowsi both tossed one scoreless inning of relief each.
For Coast Guard, sophomore Dustin Reeder earned the victory, pitching six innings of four-run ball (three earned) on four hits with seven strikeouts. Freshman Brett Sullivan earned his second save of the series, working the perfect ninth.
Up next, Merchant Marine will take on Thiel College on Wednesday morning, March 8. First pitch is scheduled for 10 a.m. The game will feature a live video feed which can be accessed by clicking here.
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Baseball Falls To Coast Guard, 6-4, Monday In Series Finale