FORT MYERS, Fla. (March 4, 2018) – On Sunday, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy baseball team swept Rivier University in its season-opening doubleheader on the first day of the 2018 Gene Cusic Classic down in Florida. The Mariners won the first game by the final of 17-2 and triumphed in the second game, 10-4.
A photo gallery of the action on Sunday can be viewed at this link.
A pair of juniors made the difference in the first game as starting pitcher Andrew Spinnenweber (Pasadena, Md.) earned the victory on the mound after tossing five innings and giving up just two runs on three hits with nine strikeouts and Jesse Reinebold (Granger, Ind.) went 2-for-3 from the plate with five RBIs, two on a single in the first inning and three on a home run in the third.
The Mariners led 2-1 after the first inning, but quickly jumped ahead 10-1 after three and then 14-2 after five before scoring the final three runs of the game in the top of the sixth.
Junior Kyle Cunningham (Panama City Beach, Fla.) knocked in three runs – one on a sacrifice fly in the first and the other two on a homer in the fifth. Senior Bryson Campbell (Cool, Calif,) had two RBIs in the game, while junior Tyler Mowry (Peachtree City, Ga.), sophomore Matthew Austin (Rockledge, Fla.) and freshmen Alex Mesaros (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Colin Baker (Clyde Hill, Wash.) all recorded one RBI each.
Mesaros went 1-for-4 with a triple and had a game-high four runs. Classmate Jacob Kelly (Norfolk, Va.) scored three times, while Mowry, Baker and junior Reilly Cherry (Coeur d'Alene, Idaho) all scored twice.
The Mariners stole a total of six bases in the opener, including two by Mesaros.
For the Raiders, freshman Dillon Brady went 2-for-3 from the dish with the squad's lone RBI and sophomore Cameron Way suffered the loss after tossing 2.2 innings and giving up 10 runs (eight earned) on six hits with five walks and one strikeout.
Merchant Marine was the home team in the second game and fell behind 1-0 after the first half-inning, but tied it up in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by senior Michael Barnes (Alexandria, Va.) that plated Mesaros.
Rivier jumped ahead again by one with a run in the third, but the Mariners answered back with four runs in the bottom of the third. Barnes again knocked in Mesaros on a single and then he and Campbell scored thanks to a couple of errors and a balk before Austin doubled to right to bring home Mowry.
The Mariners scored five more times in the fourth to open up a 10-2 lead, three of those runs coming a on a three-RBI triple by Barnes, who finished the game 3-for-4 with five RBIs and two runs scored. The Raiders added two more runs in the top of the seventh, but it was not enough.
Austin knocked in two in the game and Campbell had an RBI. Mesaros scored three times in the second game to lead all players once again. Again the Mariners stole six bases in the affair, with Barnes and Cunningham both swiping two bags apiece.
On the mound, freshman Joe Raab (Edwardsburg, Mich.) got the "W" in his first collegiate start, as he lasted five innings and gave up just two runs (one earned) on three hits with eight strikeouts. Classmates Quinton Heck (Massillon, Ohio) and Timothy DeWitt (Montverde, Fla.) both hurled an inning of relief, witch Heck striking out two in a 1-2-3 inning and DeWitt closing out the game with one K and two unearned runs allowed on one hit.
Rivier was led by sophomore Brendan Sullivan, who went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, while three other Raiders all knocked in one run apiece. Junior Kyle Flanagan suffered the loss after tossing 3.1 innings and allowing 10 runs (seven earned) on eight hits with five strikeouts.
The Mariners are right back in action on Monday afternoon, March 5, when they take on Elms College in a single, nine-inning game beginning at 3 p.m. Live stats and a live video feed of the contest will be available with links on the USMMA Baseball Schedule Page.
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