D'Alessandro's gem helps CUA secure No. 3 seed in tourney
WASHINGTON – CUA celebrated Senior Day on Sunday in style, downing Scranton 11-2 at Talbot Field. The win secures the No. 3 seed for the Cardinals in the upcoming Landmark Conference Tourmament. Senior Justin D'Alessandro was exceptional on the mound, striking out six and allowing only two hits in seven innings of work.
In the early going, it looked as though neither team may score, but that changed in the third when CUA scored four times. The big blow came off the bat of Dave Grear, who delivered a bases clearing double to score three. The other run came on Colin McCarthy's RBI single to left.
Tommy Little's RBI single in the sixth plated Marc Hanna and gave CUA a 5-0 lead, and Matt Grieb's sac fly in the seventh upped the lead to six.
Scranton got on the board for the first time with a single run in the eighth, but CUA came right back and put the game away with five more runs in the bottom of the frame.
Hanna was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and then moved down to second on Dan Sullivan's ground out. An infield single by Dan Hinchcliff put runners on the corners and Little followed with his second RBI single of the afternoon.
Tim Mierzwa then drove in Hinchcliff with a single to left and with two outs, Grear delivered his second game-changing hit of the day, crushing a pitch over the left field wall for a three-run homer to make it 11-1 Cardinals.
Scranton pushed one more run across in the ninth to put the final margin at nine, and with two outs, CUA's Wes Stonelake threw a picture-perfect ball to home plate from left field to cut down a Royals runner and end the game.
D'Alessandro earned his fourth win of the season with his terrific performance on Sunday, while Robin Mowatt, Tom Egan and Rob Renzi worked the final two innings in relief.
Scranton starter Casey Gorman suffered the loss after he allowed two earned runs on four hits in 3.1 innings.
Prior to Sunday's game, CUA honored its eight-man senior class of Dan Sullivan, Tim Mierzwa, Matt Grieb, Rob Renzi, Tom Egan, Tommy Little, Justin D'Alessandro and Dave Grear with an on-field presentation.
CUA will return to action on Saturday, May 5 when the Cardinals take on Merchant Marine Academy in the 2012 Landmark Conference Tournament. The game will take place in Bethlehem, Pa. on the campus of Moravian College and begin at 2:30 p.m. Host Moravian will face No. 4 Drew in the other opening round matchup, with that game taking place at 11 a.m.
CUA has won three of the first four Landmark Conference championships, including last season when the Cardinals earned their first bid to the Division III NCAA Tournament.