April 11, 2010

Grear Homer Rallies Cardinals, Team Perched Atop Landmark Conference

Grear Homer Rallies Cardinals, Team Perched Atop Landmark Conference

WASHINGTON (April 11, 2010)--If you like baseball filled with offensive fireworks, Robert J. Talbot Field was the place to be Sunday.

Sophomore Dave Grear capped a warm and wild afternoon with a three-run home run to rally Catholic University to a 17-16 victory over the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

With their third three-game sweep of Landmark Conference foes this season, the Cardinals boosted their league-leading record to 9-0. Moravian College is in second place at 8-4. CUA, 15-6 overall, has won seven of its past 10 games.

The teams combined for 33 runs, 36 hits and 30 RBIs in the four-hour, 27-minute slugfest. USMMA (5-16, 1-11) took a 14-7 lead into the Cardinals’ half of the eighth inning but couldn’t hold on. The Cards scored four times that inning and three in the ninth to send the contest into extra innings.

Doug Carter (2-for-5, four RBIs) staked the Mariners to a 16-14 lead with his two-out, two-run homer in the 10th. After CUA’s Eamonn Burke struck out, L.J. Travaglia and Sean Earley reached base after being hit by Mark Thiboldeaux. Grear, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the seventh, followed with his game-winning blast.

Grear also led off the ninth with a home run and now has a team-high five round-trippers. The 6-foot, 265-pounder is second on the club in hitting (.431) and tied with Dmitri Deoudes with 21 RBIs. Deoudes was 4-for-5 Sunday, scored twice and drove in four runs.

Cardinal Matt Grieb was 4-for-5 from his leadoff spot and scored four runs. Burke and Tommy Little had identical line scores: 3-for-6, three RBIs and two runs.

Rob Steinkopf, the last of six Redbird hurlers, pitched the 10th and picked up his first win of the year.

The Mariners’ Nicholas Kopacka tallied five hits in seven at bats and scored three runs. Frank Pierson was 4-for-5 with three RBIs. USMMA had 19 hits to the Cardinals’ 17.

The Cards host Bridgewater College on Wednesday at 4 p.m. before traveling to Johns Hopkins University on Thursday for a 3:30 p.m. start.

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