Cardinals drop 11th inning heartbreaker to Scranton
WASHINGTON - First-seeded CUA lost a heartbreaker in extra innings to the fourth-seeded Scranton Royals, 6-5. In a game that went eleven innings and saw three lead changes, CUA scored five runs to take the lead going into the bottom of the 9th, 5-2. Scranton answered with three runs of its own to tie the game, 5-5. Scranton scored the winning run in the top of the 11th, on a double to left field.
A re-match of the first game of the Landmark Conference Tournament pitted CUA and Scranton against each other for the second time in as many days. The Cardinals found themselves in the elimination game after losing to the Royals, 5-4 on Saturday afternoon. CUA beat Merchant Marine Academy earlier in the day on Sunday, 3-0 to advance into the afternoon game. The Royals lost to Moravian earlier in the day, 8-1.
The offense didn't get going for the Cardinals until the eighth inning when they scored all five of their runs. CUA pitcher Colin Kelly started things off early for the Cardinals with a strikeout to the leadoff Michael Umerich. After allowing two runners on the bases, Kelly forced Ray Graspy to fly out to left field.
Nick Clary recorded CUA's first hit in the bottom of the 1st with a single to center field. Clary advanced to second base on a steal, but the Cardinals were unable to bring him around.
Scranton got on the board first in the 2nd inning with a single to left field by Matt Maghini that plated Michael Trabulsi from second base. CUA got out of the inning giving up only one run with a fly out to right field.
In the top of the 3rd with two outs, Mark Kalokitis caught Graspy stealing second to end the inning for the Royals.
Kelly struck Umerich out for a second time in the game to end the top of the 4th. CUA looked to get on the board with Clary leading off with a single to center field. CUA was unable to even the score and the game remained 1-0 after four innings.
The Cardinals made a push to tie the game in the 5th when Marc Hanna led off with a single to center field. He was able to advance into scoring position on a bunt by Brendan Breslin. Mike McFarland moved Hanna over to third base on a fielder's choice to second base. Dillon fought off pitch after pitch and was rewarded with a walk. With two runners on the bases, CUA was still unable to get a run across the plate.
CUA made a great defensive stop in the top of the 6th when Pat DeToro threw the runner out from center field to end the game and keep Scranton's lead at just one.
The Royals added another run in the top of the 7th when Graspy plated Maghini on a single to right field to make the score, 2-0. The Cardinals were able to get out of the inning with a five-to-three double play leaving the bases loaded for the Royals.
The Cardinals forced the Royals to a one-two-three top of the 8th to get Mike McFarland to lead off the bottom of the inning. McFarland led things off with a single to right field. Dillon then added to CUA's hits total for the day with a single to right field. A balk by the pitcher Michael Calamoneri moved the runners to second and third. He then walked pinch hitter, John Pallidino, to load the bases.
The Royals made a pitching change with James Sawyer reliving Calamoneri after seven innings pitched. On a fielder's choice with an error by the pitcher, DeToro plated two runs to tie the game. Clary walked to load the bases with zero outs in the inning.
CUA took the lead on Kalokitis' hit up the middle that scored two more runs making the game, 4-2. An intentional walk on Marc Hanna loaded the bases once again with Breslin coming up to the plate. The Cardinals added another run by an error on the catcher on an attempt to pick the runner off at first base.
Pitcher Chris Nee came on to pitch the 9th inning for the Cardinals. CUA received a great diving play in left field by Breslin for the second out in the 9th. Scranton answered with a hit a two-run homerun by LeCompte to make the game, 5-4.
The game headed to extra innings with Sean Van Geison on the mound for the Cardinals. Van Geison struck out Hamer and Maghini to get out of the inning. The Cardinals were again unable to get a run across the plate in the bottom of the 10th.
Scranton took a 6-5 lead on a double to left field by LeCompte in the top of the 11th and CUA was unable to score in the bottom of the frame to end the game in favor of the Royals, 6-5
Van Geison suffered the loss for the Cardinals after two innings of action and giving up one earned run.
Sawyer was given the win on the day for the Royals. He pitched four innings and only allowed two runs, two hits, and struck out four.
The Cardinals end their season with an overall 26-17 record and 11-7 record in the Landmark Conference.