9th inning rally leads CUA past No. 25 Hornets 15-11

WINCHESTER, Va. – Trailing Shenandoah 10-6 in the 8th inning, CUA scored nine runs in the final two frames to down the No. 25 Hornets 15-11 on Wednesday evening. The Cardinals totaled 15 hits on the night, led by Pat DeToro with three, while Chris McCloud homered and drove in four runs. With the win CUA improves to 19-10, while Shenandoah falls to 19-8.

The Hornets grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st when Michael Paul hit a two-run homer to right center, before CUA cut it to a one-run game with a run in the 3rd. DeToro delivered a solo shot to left center to get the Cards on the board.

CUA took its first lead of the evening in the 4th inning, when Marc Hanna went yard, driving in two to make it 3-2.

Shenandoah grabbed the lead right back with four runs in the bottom of the frame. Andrew Creamer drove in two with a double, while Daniel Freshley and John Wilt added RBI hits of their own.

Dan Hinchcliff came around on Charlie Dillon's single in the 5th to pull CUA within 6-4, but the Hornets added two more runs in the bottom of the inning to extend to a four-run advantage.

The back-and-forth continued in the 6th when McCloud drilled a two-run shot over the left field wall to make the score 8-6.

The Hornets kept the offensive show going with two more runs in the bottom of the frame, and the Cards again found themselves down by four.

In the 8th, CUA pulled to within 10-9, with Stefan Poggioli doubling in Mark Kalokitis and Nick Clary, and a Hornets error allowed Poggioli to come all the way around on the same play.

CUA then took the lead back with a huge 9th inning rally. With one out, pinch hitter Mike McFarland walked and was replaced on the base paths by pinch runner Nick Scali. Clary then singled to put runners on first and second.

A walk to Kalokitis loaded the bags, and McCloud delivered a huge two-run double to put CUA in front for good, 11-10. CUA was not done though, as Brendan Breslin hit a bases-loaded triple to bring in three more runs, and Hinchcliff's single added another to make it 15-10.

The Hornets added one run in their half of the 9th, but Chris Nee retired the side without further damage to end the game.

Nee was the winning pitcher, throwing two innings, striking out two and allowing just the one run, while Cameron Lundmark suffered the loss for Shenandoah, after he surrendered seven runs on four hits in 1.1 innings.

CUA steps back into Landmark Conference play this weekend, heading to Kings Point, N.Y., to face Merchant Marine Academy. The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m.

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