Cardinals drop two to Scranton at home

WASHINGTON – CUA dropped a pair of games to Scranton on Saturday at Talbot Field, falling 4-3 in the opener and 8-5 in the nightcap.  Following the day's action the Cardinals sit at 23-15 overall and 10-7 in the Landmark Conference.    

CUA struck first in game one with a single run in the second.  Colin McCarthy led off with a single, and with two outs, Brendan Breslin reached on a Royals error.

Dave Grear then singled home McCarthy to make it 1-0 Cardinals.

The Royals came right back and tied things with a single run in the third.  With one out, Matt Rayha was hit by a pitch, and he then moved to third on Michael Umerich's single to right field.  Ross Danzig then brought home Rayha with a sacrifice fly to right field.

Another single run by Scranton in the fourth gave the visitors their first lead of the afternoon.  Mark Grambo's ground out plated Tim LeCompte and the Royals were in front 2-1.

CUA tied the game for the second time with a single run of its own in the fifth, which came on Tim Mierzwa's RBI triple, which plated Dan Hinchcliff.

Scranton re-took the lead with a pair of runs in the sixth, which came on Michael Gaeta's two-run single to center.

CUA had one final chance in the seventh and got off to a good start with back-to-back singles by Hinchcliff and Tommy Little.  A wild pitch then moved both runners up 90 feet and Mierzwa's sac fly to right plated Hinchcliff and made it a 4-3 game.

With two outs, McCarthy was intentionally walked and Nick Scali replaced him as a pinch runner.  Scali then stole second to put two runners in scoring position, but Marc Hanna went down swinging to end the game.

Scranton's Robert Della Polla went all 7.0 innings and earned the win for the visitors, striking out 11 and allowing seven hits during that time.

Andrew Carroll suffered the loss for CUA after he allowed three earned runs on five hits in 5.1 innings.

In game number-two, Scranton pushed the game's first run across in the second when Jesse Outhouse doubled home Grambo.

The Royals upped their lead to 3-0 with two more runs in the third, including an RBI double by Eric Pizzico and a Gaeta fielder's choice.

CUA got on the board for the first time in the fourth when Chris McCloud singled home Hanna, but Scranton came right back with two runs in the fifth to make it 5-1.  Sean Butler delivered the big blow, smashing a two-run homer to left field.

The Cardinals cut the lead to three with a run in the fifth, which came on Hanna's ground out, and CUA added two more runs in the sixth to make it a 5-4 game.  Mierzwa drove in one of the runs in the sixth with a single and Grear delivered an RBI single of his own as a pinch hitter.

Scranton added three insurance runs in the seventh with Umerich doubling in two of the runs and the other coming home on a wild pitch, to make it 8-4.

Hanna singled to lead off the bottom of the frame and then stole second to move into scoring position.  Mark Kalokitis grounded out to first, which moved Hanna to third and Wes Stonelake came through with a pinch hit single to right to bring CUA within three.

Stonelake was thrown out trying to steal though, and Trevor Falk grounded out to short to end it.

Rocky Sawyer went 4.2 innings on the mound for Scranton, striking out two and allowing two runs to earn the win, while Corey Gorman worked 1.1 innings to record the save.

Adam Schroth was dealt the loss after allowing five runs on 11 hits in four innings.

The Cardinals and Royals will close out their three-game set on Sunday with a single, nine-inning game beginning at noon.  Prior to the game, CUA will honor its senior class.  

Despite Saturday's losses, CUA has clinched a berth in this year's Landmark Conference Tournament, which begins on Saturday, May 5 in Bethlehem, Pa.  Should the Cardinals defeat Scranton on Sunday, they will be the No. 3 seed in the tournament, but if the Royals come out on top, they will secure the third seed and CUA will be fourth.

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