FORT MYERS, Fla. (March 11, 2015) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy baseball team captured its first win of the 2015 season on Wednesday, earning a 13-11 victory in eight innings in a sloppy game against Illinois College. The game was part of an originally scheduled doubleheader of two seven-inning contests, but the second game was cancelled with no make-up date due to inclement weather.
The Mariners improve to 1-3 on the season, while the Blueboys fall to 4-2.
Freshman Bryson Campbell (Cool, Calif.) had a stellar day at the plate, going 4-for-5 with three runs scored and what turned out to be the game winning RBI in the eighth. With runners on first and second and one out, Campbell plated junior Quinn Fleming (Ashburn, Va.) with a single through the right side. One batter later, junior Zach De St. Germain (Eagle, Ind.) added an insurance run with an infield single that scored sophomore Francis Grzymkowski (Stafford, Va.).
Merchant Marine had blown a 9-2 lead that it held earlier in the game which the squad had built up thanks in large part to six errors over two innings by Illinois College. In the top of the second, senior Cameron Stadele (Alpharetta, Ga.) led off by reaching on an error and two batters later wound up scoring on another. With Campbell on third and De St. Germain on first, freshman Steve Lucy (Leawood, Kan.) put down a bunt single to score Campbell and give Merchant Marine a 2-1 lead. De St. Germain advanced to third on another error on a failed pickoff attempt and scored when senior Jake Wood (Richmond, Va.) grounded into a double play.
The Mariners tacked on six more runs in the third inning. Fleming forced a one-out walk and came around to score after a costly error that allowed freshman Michael Barnes (Alexandria, Va.) to reach first. Stadele was the next batter up and smashed the ball over the left field wall for USMMA's first homer of the season, giving the Mariners a 6-2 lead. Campbell followed with a single and eventually came around to score on another bunt single by Lucy. After a double-steal by Lucy and De St. Germain, Wood hit into a sac-fly that scored De St. Germain. Lucy would come across after an RBI single by junior Grant Foley (Butler, Pa.).
The Blueboys fought back, however, scoring two in the bottom of the third to come within five, 9-4, and then adding one in the fourth and three in both the fifth and sixth to go ahead 11-9.
Going into the top of the seventh just three outs away from a loss, the Mariners rallied and got the bases loaded after Lucy's third infield hit of the day, a single to third. Wood plated Campbell with a single to short that made it a one-run game. Foley followed with a single to right that tied the game when De St. Germain came across.
Lucy was 3-for-5 with two RBIs and one run scored, while De St. Germain went 1-for-4 with an RBI and three runs.
On the mound, freshman Justus Martin (Eaton, Colo.) got the starting nod and gave up five runs (four earned) on 10 hits with one strikeout over four innings of work. He was replaced by senior Christopher Hinds (Independence, Ore.), who pitched one-third of an inning. The win went to freshman Josh Ellington (San Leon, Texas), who pitched 3.2 innings and allowed three runs (just one earned) on five hits with one strikeout.
The Mariners will return to action this Friday, March 13, when they open Landmark Conference action against Juniata College (4-2) at Terry Park Field 1. Start time of the first of two seven-inning games is slated for 3 p.m.
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