May 2, 2008

Cardinals Advance in Ten-Inning Comeback Win

 

Cardinals Advance in Ten-Inning Comeback Win
CUA trails 14-0 after five innings but gets the victory

5/2/2008 

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - The third-seeded Catholic University baseball squad (24-13-1) needed every second of its ten-inning contest against Susquehanna University (18-20) Friday in its opening game of the Landmark Conference Tournament.  After falling behind 14-0 in the first five innings, the third-seeded Cardinals staged a tremendous comeback to force extra innings and get the eventual 17-16 victory over the second-seeded Crusaders.

Things started out poorly for the Cards as they gave up 14 runs in the first four innings going through three different pitchers in the process.  The first inning had a three-run homer and the second saw a string of solid doubles bring four runners across the plate.  Two CUA errors and some crafty base running aided the Crusaders to gain five runs in the third while two more hits in the fourth made it 14-0 after five looking like the Cardinals were cooked.

Despite the huge deficit, CUA didn't give up as the offense began clicking in the top of the sixth as the Cards chipped away at the lead.  A costly error allowed four unearned runs to score for the Cardinals after singles from Joe Maca (Oyster Bay, N.Y./Saint Dominic) and Joe Devine (Medford Lakes, N.J./Shawnee) brought in two and Mike Goodman's (Brookville, Md./Sherwood) homer to left field added the other pair.  The defense began to lock down the Crusaders as the CUA bats continued to work with four runs in the seventh thanks to doubles from Maca and Patrick Quintana (Denver, Colo./Littleton) who combined for three RBI as well as a sac fly from Landmark Rookie of the Year, Tommy Little (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha).  The Cardinals allowed two Susquehanna runs in the bottom of the inning as they entered the ninth trailing 16-8.

The top of the ninth proved to be CUA's inning as they generated eight runs batting through the order to tie it up and force the extra inning.  Cory Hudson (Beltsville, Md./Gonzaga) started with a single while Little advanced on the walk and Devine reached on a hit to left center.  Maca's double then drove in the first two and Goodman's single to right center added two more.  A walk by Tommy Bowles (Davidsonville, Md./Mount Saint Joe) kept runners on base and Robbie O'Brien (Columbia, Md./Long Reach) brought another home with a single.  Quintana added a single and the RBI before pinch hitter Sean Earley (Pequannock, N.J./Pequannock Township) crushed a double to right center scoring two runs and tying it up at 16.

The bottom of the ninth belonged to First Team All-Landmark selection Michael Bzozowski (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown) who pitched three K's in a row to quickly end the inning.  In the top of the tenth with one out, Maca got on with a single and stole second to get in scoring position.  A fly ball to right moved him to third before Matthew Rosner's (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill West) hit brought him in for the go ahead run.  Clinging to a one-run lead, the defense made quick work of the Crusaders with Quintana catching a runner on the basepath and Bzozowski striking out his fourth of the game.  An easy third to first play ended the game and gave CUA the remarkable 17-16 victory.

Even with the win, the Cardinals were out hit 18-17 and had two more errors.  Maca led the squad going 4-6 with three runs scored and four RBI while Quintana contributed a 3-5 performance with three runs scored and as many RBI.  Bzozowski took the win on the mound pitching two innings with four strikeouts.

The Cardinals now advance to the winners bracket, they will face top-seeded and host team Juniata College on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.  The Landmark Tournament is a double elimination event.