Cardinals breeze past Mariners 18-4 to complete series sweep

WASHINGTON – With its offense hitting on all cylinders, CUA completed an impressive three-game sweep of Merchant Marine Academy on Sunday with an 18-4 win at Talbot Field.  The win improves the Cardinals to 21-11 overall and 8-4 in the Landmark Conference, while USMMA falls to 16-11 and 9-6.

CUA pounded out 23 hits on the day and scored multiple runs in four innings, including eight in the second.  The 23 hits and 18 runs are both season highs for the Cards.

Merchant Marine Academy actually led in the game, taking a 1-0 lead in the first when Warren Hartmann's sacrifice fly plated John Hubach.

CUA came right back with a single run in its half of the frame, which came on Marc Hanna's RBI single.

The Cardinals then began to pull away with an eight-run second, beginning with Dan Sullivan's double to center field.  A Dave Grear fly out moved Sullivan up to third, and two batters later, Tommy Little singled home Sullivan for a 2-1 CUA lead.

An infield single by Tim Mierzwa loaded the bases and a walk to Matt Grieb forced in the Cardinals third run of the afternoon.

Hanna followed with another RBI single to make it 4-1, and on the same play Dan Hinchcliff came around for the Cards' fifth run.  Two batters later Mark Kalokitis singled home Hanna to make it 6-1.

Sullivan followed with an RBI single of his own and Grear belted a two-run double to center to make it 9-1.

Little led off the next inning with a single and Mierzwa followed with a walk.  Another walk, this one to Grieb, loaded the bases for Hanna, who drove home Little with a sac fly.

After a wild pitch allowed Mierzwa and Grieb to move up a base, Colin McCarthy stroked a single to left to plate both runners and put CUA in front 12-1.

Three more Cardinals scored in the fourth, including Little, Greg Vernier and Mierzwa.

USMMA was able to plate three runs in the fifth, but CUA came back with two more runs in the sixth, which came on a Nick Scali double to right field.

Nick Clary's fielder's choice in the seventh brought home CUA's 18th run of the afternoon.

Justin D'Alessandro worked the first five innings for CUA and earned the win on the mound after he allowed two earned runs on three hits and struck out one.  Jake Mesiter, Matt Petronis, John D'Alessandro and Rob Steinkopf worked the final four innings out of the bullpen.

Little went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI to lead the CUA offense, while McCarthy and Sullivan both went 3-for-3.

Mariners starter John Martin was dealt the loss after he surrendered nine runs on 10 hits in two innings.

CUA will return to action on Tuesday afternoon when the Cardinals face Bridgewater in Virginia beginning at 4 p.m.

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