March 8, 2012

Late-inning rally lifts CUA past Averett 8-5 in extra innings

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – After trailing 4-0 through seven innings, CUA battled back to force extras and was able to outlast Averett 8-5 in 11 innings on Thursday.  The win is the Cardinals' sixth in their last seven games.  Tommy Little, Marc Hanna, and Dan Hinchcliff finished with three hits apiece to lead the offense.

Playing one another for the second straight day, CUA and Averett combined for 13 runs, 25 hits and three errors in 11 innings of baseball on Thursday.

The Cougars jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first and then added two more runs in the third.  The big hit in the third came off the bat of James Carter, who delivered a two-run single.

Carter delivered another run-scoring single in the seventh, and CUA found itself down 4-0.

The Cardinals finally broke through in the eighth when they pushed two runs across on four hits.  Little got the rally going with an infield single, and Tim Mierzwa and Hanna followed with singles of their own to load the bases.

Mark Kalokitis was next and his groundout brought Little home to make it 4-1.  Brendan Breslin then stroked a single of his own that plated Mierzwa and sliced the Averett lead in half.

The Cougars got one of the runs back in the bottom of the eighth when James Fiorella doubled in Matt Mitchell to up Averett's lead to 5-2.

Down to its final three outs, CUA rallied for three runs in the ninth to force extra innings.  Dan Sullivan drew a leadoff walk to get things going and then moved down to second on an error by Averett's pitcher.

Chris McCloud then drew a walk and Pat DeToro replaced him as a pinch runner.  Hinchcliff was next and he reached on a fielder's choice.  DeToro was out on the play, but Sullivan moved up to third base.

A wild pitch brought Sullivan home and moved Hinchcliff up 90 feet to second.  Following a CUA strikeout, Mierzwa walked to put two runners on.  Hanna then smacked a double to left center to plate both Cardinals and tie the score at 5.

After a scoreless bottom of the ninth, the teams headed for extras, where both sides went scoreless in the tenth.

Colin McCarthy led the 11th off with a single for CUA, before being lifted for pinch runner Dan Haus.  A bunt single by Hinchcliff followed, but Little and Mierzwa were retired in succession, leaving the Cardinals with only one out remaining.

Wes Stonelake was next and his single to center brought home Haus and gave the Cardinals a 6-5 lead.  Kalokitis followed with a two-run single and CUA found itself in front by three.

In the bottom of the frame, CUA's Thomas Travaglia gave up a lead off single, but got the next batter to bounce into a double play.  Kyle Newcomb then fouled out to third and CUA had earned win number-eight.

Travaglia went the final three innings for the Cardinals and allowed just the one hit during that time to earn the win for CUA.  Tom Egan started on the mound and went five innings, allowing three runs during that time, before giving way to Rob Steinkopf (2.2 innings) and Kory Smigocki (0.1 innings).

Tyler Muench got the start for the Cougars, and he went 8.2 innings, striking out four and allowing five runs during that time.  Tyler Long suffered the loss after he gave up three runs on five hits in 2.1 innings.

CUA closes out its spring break trip on Friday morning when the Cardinals take on Eastern beginning at 9 a.m.  CUA will then face regional foe Johns Hopkins on Monday, March 12 at Talbot Field.  First pitch is set for 3 p.m.

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