FORT MYERS, Fla. (March 9, 2015) – On Monday morning, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy baseball team finished its season-opening three-game series against rival Coast Guard down in Florida with a 6-3 loss. The Mariners' record falls to 0-3 on the young season, while the Bears improve to 4-0.
Junior Quinn Fleming (Ashburn, Va.) led the way for Merchant Marine, going 2-for-3 with a double in the third, a two-RBI single in the fifth and he also drew a walk in the seventh. His single in the bottom of the fifth plated senior Jake Wood (Richmond, Va.) and freshman Jacob Sithong (Orlando, Fla.). Sithong ended the day 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored.
Freshman Michael Barnes (Alexandria, Va.) had the Mariners' other RBI of the game in the ninth inning. With the bases loaded, the rookie grounded out to short which scored junior Grant Foley (Butler, Pa.), but the play wound up turning into a game-ending double play as the Merchant Marine baserunner rounding third got caught up between third and home.
On the mound, sophomore southpaw Nathan Slusarczyk (Woodbury, N.J.) got the starting nod and pitched 5.2 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits with five walks and one strikeout. Freshman Josh Ellington (San Leon, Texas) tossed the next 2.1 innings and allowed just two hits against nine batters faced and classmate Dylan Rabbitt (Easton, Md.) pitched the top of the ninth and allowed two baserunners, but didn't surrender a hit.
Coast Guard jumped out to a 5-0 lead with three runs in the top of the first and two more in the fourth. Senior Blake Thompson went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI triples and he also earned the save by getting the last two outs of the game. They tacked on one more run in the top of the sixth.
The win went to the Bears' sophomore Luke Sniatkowski, who pitched 6.2 innings and allowed two runs on six hits with five strikeouts and two walks.
USMMA will be back in action on Wednesday, March 11, with a doubleheader against Illinois College that begins at noon at Player Development Complex Field 5 in Fort Myers, Fla. Live stats will be available for both games – Game 1 and Game 2.
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