Cardinals begin postseason on Saturday vs. USMMA

WASHINGTON – After compiling an 11-7 record in Landmark Conference play this season, CUA will head to Bethlehem, Pa. this weekend as the number-three seed in this year's conference tournament.  The Cardinals open play on Saturday when they take on second-seeded Merchant Marine Academy.

CUA was last in action on April 29 when the Cardinals defeated Scranton 11-2 on Senior Day to lock up the number-three seed in the tourney.  Dave Grear had a terrific day for the Cards, going 2 for 5 at the plate with a home run and six RBIs. 

Classmate Justin D'Alessandro was equally as effective on the mound, going 7.0 innings, striking out six and allowing just two hits to earn the win.

Freshman Colin McCarthy has had an outstanding first season in the red and black, batting .441, which is currently 21st best in the nation.  He has added 35 RBIs, three home runs and a .667 slugging percentage.

Senior Tim Mierzwa leads CUA with 46 hits and is one of seven Cardinals hitting above .300.  The list includes McCarthy (.441), Tommy Little (.374), Mierzwa (.343), Mark Kalokitis (.337), Marc Hanna (.320), Matt Grieb (.315) and Brendan Breslin (.314).

On the mound, D'Alessandro leads the team with a 3.23 ERA, followed by Andrew Carroll (3.71) and Adam Schroth (4.81).  Carroll is the team leader in wins with six, while D'Alessandro leads the way with 37 strikeouts.

CUA's first round opponent, Merchant Marine Academy, enters the tournament with a record of 20-13, including 12-6 in the conference.  The Mariners were swept by the Cardinals in a three-game series on April 14-15, but rebounded the following weekend to sweep Juniata.

John Martin paces USMMA with a .377 batting average, followed by Andy Martin (.364).  Martin is also the team's top pitcher, going 6-1 in 12 appearances with a 3.43 earned run average and 46 strikeouts.

CUA has made all five Landmark Conference Tournaments, and captured three of the first four conference championships (2008, 2009, 2011).  The Cardinals win last season propelled them to their first NCAA Tournament since 1977.

Top-seed and host Moravian will take on No. 4 Drew at 11 a.m. on Saturday, with the CUA-USMMA game to follow at 2:30 p.m.  The two first round winners will then meet on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.  The tournament is double elimination and wraps up on Monday.

For more information on this weekend's tournament, visit the tournament website.

2012 Landmark Conference Tournament Schedule (Bethlehem, Pa.)*
Saturday, May 5

Game one: #4 Drew vs. #1 Moravian @ 11 a.m.
Game two: #3 CUA vs. #2 Merchant Marine @ 2:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 6
Game three: Loser Game #1 vs. Loser Game #2 @ 9 a.m.
Game four: Winner Game #1 vs. Winner Game #2 @ 12:30 p.m.
Game five: Winner Game #3 vs. Loser Game #4 @ 4 p.m.

Monday, May 7
Game six: Winner Game #5 vs. Winner Game #4 @ 11 a.m.
Game seven: Same teams as Game #6 (if necessary) @ 2:30 p.m.
*double elimination

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