WASHINGTON – With just six conference games remaining in 2015, The Catholic University of America baseball team swept the United States Merchant Marine Academy in a double header on Saturday at Robert J. Talbot Field.
With the wins the Cardinals advance to 18-10-1 on the season and sit in a three way Landmark Conference tie for third with Drew University and Susquehanna University, at 9-8. The Mariners fall to 11-15 in 2015 and 6-11 in the Landmark.
David Gately pitched all seven innings for the Cards in game one. He tossed one strike out and earned zero runs for his third win of the season.
The Mariners stuck first, getting on the board with a 1-0 lead in the first inning. The Cardinals fought back in the bottom of the second. With one out and Andrew Stewart on first, Anthony Ferlise drove a double into left field to put the Cardinals in scoring positions. Wyatt Schmidt stepped to the plate next and dropped a single into left field to score Stewart and advance Ferlise to third. Schmidt quickly stole second and Mike McFarland drove a single down the left field line to bring home Ferlise before the Mariners retired the next two batters.
McFarland notched his second RBI of the afternoon in the bottom of the fourth as he sent a grounder at the Mariners first baseman to score Ferlise. The Cards secured their conference win in the bottom of the sixth when Paul Burmester launched a double over the USMMA center fielder's head to bring home Stefan Poggioli.
The Mariners attempted to rally, scoring one additional run in the seventh but it would not be enough to close the three run deficit, ending the seven inning competion 4-2 in favor of the Redbirds.
In game two, three Cardinals pitchers saw time on the mound. Jack Hennessy earned his fourth win of 2015, pitching 5.1 innings and throwing one strikeout. Mark Duffy came in as relief in the sixth inning and Joe Salzano pitched the seventh, earning his sixth save of the year.
CUA carried their game one momentum into game two, scoring a run right off the bat in the first inning. After a single and stolen base, Poggioli stood on second and Burmester sent a double by the USMMA center fielder for his second RBI of the double header.
The Mariners answered with one run in the top of the second but it would not hold the Cardinals back as they notched three more runs in the bottom of the inning for a 4-1 lead.
With one batter retired in the bottom of the second, Schmidt propelled a double into right center followed by a single from McFarland advancing Schmidt to third. Brett Padula entered the batter's box and sent a 2-RBI hit into right field and advanced to third on a throwing error by the Mariners. Poggioli singled to left center to bring home Padula for CUA's fourth run of the event.
RBI's from Daniel Hinchcliff and Burmester came in the bottom of the fourth with unearned runs from Schmidt and Hinchcliff for the Cards to go ahead 6-1. Like in game one, USMMA rallied in the sixth and seventh innings, scoring four additional runs, but it wouldn't be enough the catch the Redbirds. The scoreboard read 6-5 in favor of the Cardinals though 6.5 innings.
The three game conference series will continue Sunday, April 19 at Cardinal Stadium. First pitch is slated for 12 noon.