WASHINGTON - After a 7-1 victory in game one of the Landmark Conference Playoffs, The Catholic University of America baseball team dropped game two of the three game Landmark Conference semifinal series, to the University of Scranton Royals, 13-10 in 10 innings.
The fourth seeded Cardinals came out strong over the top seeded Royals. After a scoreless first inning Eric Scamardella led off the second with a single to right field and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Wyatt Schmidt batted second and singled to the other side of the diamond and both runners were advanced on an additional wild pitch. The Royals walked Mike McFarland and John Palladino reached first base when the defense chose to throw Scamardella out at home. With the bases loaded Brett Padula crushed a grand slam over the Connell Park fence for a CUA 4-0 lead.
The Cardinals gave up a run in the fourth but notched two more in four off a 2-RBI single from Scamardella, scoring Jake Crist and Stefan Poggioli. They capped off the 9-inning event with an additional run in the ninth when Palladino advanced to third on a wild pitch and came across the plate on a catching error.
In game two the Cardinals and Royals battled back and forth for 10 innings before the Royals finally walked off the field to split the day, forcing a game three on Sunday morning.
Catholic notched the first two runs in the top of the first inning. With the bases loaded Schmidt sent a single into center field to bring home Christ and Dan Hinchcliff. With a 2-0 lead Catholic gave up two in the bottom of the third.
CUA redeemed themselves by regaining the lead with a run in the top of the fourth on a run from Scamardella and RBI from Palladino. Catholic couldn't hold on to the 3-2 lead and gave up three in the bottom of the inning allowing the Royals to go ahead 5-3.
The Cardinals continued the back and forth tying up the game at five in the fifth inning. Scamardella singled to left field to score Poggioli and McFarland notched an RBI with a single to center scoring Scamardella.
The Royals ran away with the game 9-5 through eight innings with an additional run in the sixth and eighth, and two in the seventh.
With a conference finals ticket on the line CUA rallied in the top of the ninth scoring six runs to take an 11-9 lead. Schmidt dropped a single into left field to score Brennan Cotter and Anthony Ferlise, pinch hitting for McFarland, crushed a 2-RBI double for the tying runs, Schmidt and Alec Dolton.
With the score tied 9-9 and Danny O'Hagan on third, Gately lobbed a double into left field for the go-ahead run and Poggioli fired a 2-run homer out of the park to advance the CUA lead to 11. The Royals rallied back tying the game at 11 through nine innings.
The Cards struggled to earn a run in the first extra-inning while the Royals cracked a two run homer and walked off the field with the game two win.
Karan Sinha threw the first 3.1 innings for Catholic with two K's and Sean Carroll stepped to the mound to through the next two. Mark Duffy threw to four batters while Josh Martin saw 10 in two innings with two strike outs. Joseph Salzano was charged with the loss after pitching the final 1.1 innings of the 10 inning showdown.
Catholic and Scranton will continued their fight for the seat in the Landmark Conference Finals on Sunday, May 3 at 11 a.m. in a nine inning matchup.