February 26, 2011

Cardinals earn first wins of year with doubleheader sweep

WASHINGTON – CUA picked up its first two wins of 2011 on Saturday as the Cardinals swept a doubleheader against Gettysburg at Talbot Field.  CUA took the opener 9-8 before winning the nightcap 7-3.  Dave Grear went 4 for 7 on the afternoon, including a grand slam in game two, while Ron Esposito threw five innings of one-run ball to earn the win in the second game.

In game one, Gettysburg struck first with two runs in its half of the top inning, but CUA answered with three runs in the bottom half.  Grear singled in a run and Chris McCloud delivered a two-run double to put the Cardinals up 3-2 after one.

The Bullets got one of the runs back in the top of the second when Cory Jackmuff drove home Clint O'Brien with a fielder's choice and the game was tied at three.

CUA then struck for three more runs in its half of the second to go in front 6-3.  Matt Grieb delivered a long home run to right field that also brought in Tommy Bowles, and Grear doubled down the left field line to plate L.J. Travaglia.

With a single run in the third and three more in the fourth Gettysburg took its first lead of the afternoon, 7-6.  The big blow in the fourth came from Chris Simard, who hit a two-run double to plate Tommy LeNoir and O'Brien.

Now trailing by one in the fifth, CUA retook the lead with three big runs in its half as Grieb tripled to center field to bring in Troy Langway, Mark Kalokitis and Brendan Breslin.

Leading 9-7 in the top of the seventh CUA began the inning with Robin Mowatt on the hill, but he allowed the first three batters to reach base, and so Head Coach Ross Natoli turned to Marc Hanna for the save opportunity. 

Hanna got his first batter to hit a sac fly, which brought home a run and made the score 9-8 with one down.  The Cardinals freshman hurler then got Cam Riera to bounce into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play and CUA picked up win number-one on the season.

Nick Rogowski got the start on the mound for CUA and struck out two in four innings, while allowing four earned runs.  Mowatt then took over and earned the win by going two innings, striking out one and not allowing an earned run.  Hanna came in for the save, working one scoreless inning of relief.

CUA wasted little time jumping all over the Bullets in game two as Grear drilled a first inning grand slam that sailed well over the scoreboard in left field to put the Cardinals on top 4-0 in the early going. 

Grieb had walked to begin the inning, Tim Mierzwa followed with a single and Travaglia was hit by a pitch, which loaded the bases for the Cardinals cleanup man.

CUA added to its lead in the third when Travaglia and Grear led off with singles.  Hanna then reached on a fielder's choice, putting runners at the corners with just one out. 

Next, Hanna stole second and the throw went into center field, plating Travaglia to give the Cardinals a five-run advantage.  Trevor Falk was next up and he drilled a double to right center field, which brought home Hanna and made it 6-0.

Gettysburg was finally able to get on the board when LeNoir hit a homerun in the fifth inning, but CUA tacked on one more run in the bottom of the sixth to go in front 7-1.  Dan Sullivan scored when pinch hitter Beriah Smith hit into a double play.

The Bullets were able to score twice in the top of the seventh, but by that point it was too little, too late as CUA earned the sweep.

Esposito was terrific in game two, scattering three hits over five innings, while striking out five and walking just one to pick up his first win of 2011.  Matt Karis took the loss for Gettysburg as he surrendered six earned runs in six innings to go along with eight hits.

Grieb finished the afternoon 3 for 7, including five RBI, while Sullivan went 2 for 3 with a run scored in game two.

CUA closes out its season opening homestand on Wednesday afternoon when the Cardinals play host to McDaniel at Talbot Field.  First pitch is set for 3 p.m.

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