By Chris McManes
Eric Scamardella added three hits for CUA, which improved to 12-2-1 and 5-2 in the Landmark Conference. The Royals fell to 3-8 and 2-2 in the opener of a three-game series at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy.
Played with temperatures in the mid-30s (and 10 degrees cooler with the wind chill), the Cardinals got on the scoreboard in the third when Crist grounded out to second to score Brett Padula. Wayne Schmidt made it 2-0 by driving in Poggioli.
Scranton loaded the bases in the top of the fourth when Hennessy walked the first three batters. But the rookie right-hander came out relatively unscathed by inducing Nick Papillo to ground into a 6-4-3 double play – enabling Ross Danzig to score – and got Brad Schneider on a comebacker.
Leading 3-1, the Redbirds scored three more in the seventh to virtually seal their fourth straight victory. Padula, running on the pitch, scored his third run all the way from first when Poggioli nailed one down the line past the third baseman. He came home on Crist single, and Scamardella tallied on a wild pitch.
Prego pitched the eighth and ninth and retired all six batters. He ended it with Papillo striking out swinging.
Hennessy walked four and struck out three. John Kranick (0-1) gave up five hits and two earned runs for the Royals, who have lost six of their last eight. He fanned one and walked two.
The Cardinals have played all seven of their conference game at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in southeast Washington. The facility's mission is "to use the sports of baseball and softball as vehicles to foster positive character development, academic achievement and improved health among at-risk Washington, D.C., youth."
CUA and Scranton will play a doubleheader Sunday on the one-year anniversary of the academy's opening. Game one starts at noon.