CUA sweeps doubleheader from Merchant Marine Academy
WASHINGTON – CUA swept a crucial doubleheader from Merchant Marine Academy on Saturday, taking the first game 8-3 and the nightcap 8-5. Following the day's action the Cardinals are 20-11 overall and 7-4 in the Landmark Conference. It marks the fifth straight year that CUA has won at least 20 games.
In the day's first game, Warren Hartmann blasted a home run to left field in the first inning to give the visitors a 1-0 lead, but CUA came right back with two runs to go in front by one.
Tim Mierzwa reached on an error with one out and then came around on Matt Grieb's double. Marc Hanna followed with a single to center field to plate Grieb and give the Cardinals a one-run lead.
CUA pushed four runs across in the third to go in front by five. Mierzwa again got things going, this time with a one-out single. After Mierzwa stole second, Grieb reached on an error to put runners on the corners.
Grieb was caught stealing for the inning's second out, but after Hanna walked, Colin McCarthy ripped a double to center to bring home Mierzwa and Hanna.
Brendan Breslin then drove in McCarthy with a single and Dave Grear completed the scoring with an RBI single of his own.
The Mariners got one of the runs back in the fourth, but Mierzwa doubled in Little in the bottom of the frame to give CUA a 7-2 advantage.
CUA completed its scoring with a single run in the sixth, which came on Little's sac fly to left.
Andrew Carroll went all seven innings for the Cardinals to earn the win, striking out four and allowing seven hits during that time.
Andrew Martin was dealt the loss for USMMA, after he went six innings, gave up 10 hits and allowed five earned runs.
In the nightcap, CUA jumped out to another early lead with three runs in the first. Little led off with a double and came home on Mierzwa's single to left.
Following a walk to Grieb, Hanna singled to left to load the bases. McCarthy then bounced into a double play, but it did bring home Mierzwa for CUA's second run. Breslin followed with a single to right to plate Grieb.
The Mariners got within one with two runs in the second, which came on Dustin Thomsen's RBI single and a double play that plated Danny Collins.
A Mark Kalokitis single in the third brought home Breslin to put CUA on top 4-2, and Hanna's RBI single in the fourth upped the lead to 5-2.
USMMA pushed three runs across in the fifth to tie things at five, but CUA came right back with two runs of its own to go in front 7-5.
Kalokitis got the fifth going with a single and then moved down to second on Dan Hinchcliff's sac bunt.
Little's single brought home Kalokitis and a Mariners error allowed Little to go all the way to third. Mierzwa's sac fly to right then plated Little to make it 7-5.
CUA added an insurance run in the sixth when McCarthy crushed a pitch over the left field wall for his second home run of the season.
CUA starter Adam Schroth worked 4.2 innings, struck out one and allowed five runs, while Kory Smigocki worked the final 2.1 innings to pick up the win.
Dustin Thomsen suffered the loss after allowing 14 hits and eight runs in six innings.
CUA and USMMA will close out their three-game set on Sunday morning beginning at 11 a.m.
Prior to Saturday's doubleheader, CUA honored head coach Ross Natoli for his 500th career win, which he picked up on April 7 vs. Stevenson. A large group of CUA alumni returned to campus to share in the celebration, including Hall of Famer Mike Tryon '82, in addition to special guest Tim Kurkjian from ESPN. Kurkjian's brother Matt '78 played baseball at CUA and was a member of the 1977 ECAC championship team.
CUA President John Garvey and Director of Athletics Mike Allen presented Natoli with a commemorative plaque and the game ball from the 500th win.
You can see the pregame ceremony that took place on Saturday in the video below.