WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 18, 2015) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy baseball team was swept in a Landmark Conference doubleheader on Saturday down at The Catholic University of America, dropping the first game by the final of 4-2, before losing the second game, 6-5. The Mariners, who had the tying runs on base in the top of the seventh in both games, fall to 11-15 (6-11 Landmark) in defeat, while the Cardinals improve to 18-10-1 (9-8 Landmark).
The story of game one was the pitching of Catholic freshman David Gately, who allowed two runs on just two hits in seven innings for the complete game victory. Senior Cameron Stadele (Alpharetta, Ga.) and freshman Bryson Campbell (Cool, Calif.) had the two Mariner hits, while Stadele and senior Jake Wood (Richmond, Va.) scored the runs. Campbell had the lone RBI for Merchant Marine. USMMA sophomore Patrick Morgan (Roxboro, N.C.) also lasted the complete game and allowed four runs on 10 hits with two strikeouts.
The Mariners held a 1-0 lead after one, but the Cards answered with two in the bottom of the second. Catholic tacked on one more run in both the fourth and fifth innings to go up 4-1, before Merchant Marine threatened in the top of the seventh. However, USMMA was only able to push one run across and left the tying run on base.
In game two, the Mariners were led at the plate by freshman Michael Barnes (Alexandria, Va.), who was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Wood, sophomore Francis Grzymkowski (Stafford, Va.) and senior Joseph Policastro (Hauppauge, N.Y.) all knocked in one run apiece. Grzymkowski, Campbell and juniors Quinn Fleming (Ashburn, Va.) and Grant Foley (Butler, Pa.) all scored for Merchant Marine.
Senior John Kret (Chappaqua, N.Y.) was on the long end after hurling 3.2 innings and allowing six runs (just one earned) on seven hits with one strikeout. His counterpart for Catholic, freshman Jack Hennessy, earned the victory after pitching 5.1 innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits. Sophomore Nathan Slusarczyk (Woodbury, N.J.) was solid in relief for the Mariners, allowing just one hit in 2.1 innings.
After the Cardinals scored one run in the bottom of the first, the Mariners answered with one of their own in the next half-inning. Catholic would go on to score three more in the bottom of the second, however, to make it 4-1. The hosts hung two more runs on the scoreboard in the fourth and had a five-run lead, 6-1.
Merchant Marine rallied late to score two runs in the top of the sixth and another two in the top of the seventh on a two-run single by Barnes. The tying run was stranded at second base (and Barnes, the go-ahead at first), however, as Catholic sophomore reliever Joseph Salzano got a strikeout to end the game and earn the save.
The two teams are back at it tomorrow, Sunday, April 19, with the series-finale, which will begin at 12-noon at the Cardinals' Robert J. Talbot Field.