Cardinals begin spring break trip by splitting a pair
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The Cardinals opened their annual spring break trip on Sunday by splitting a doubleheader, first downing Allegheny 4-1 before falling to Swarthmore 10-8. CUA relied on strong pitching to win the opener with Ron Esposito throwing seven innings of one-run ball before Jack Mahoney came in to register the save.
CUA got all the offense it would need in the bottom of the second when the Cardinals scored four times. Marc Hanna led off with a double and Mark Kalokitis was then hit by a pitch putting two on, with no one out. Nick Rogowski was up next and he bunted the two Cardinals over to second and third.
Ross Hunsberger followed with a single to bring home Hanna and CUA went in front 1-0. A Troy Langway single then scored Kalokitis and the Cardinals had a two run lead. With two outs Tim Mierzwa stepped to the dish and delivered a two-run triple to give CUA a comfortable 4-0 lead.
That proved to be all that Esposito needed, as he gave up just one run in his seven innings of work. Allegheny got its lone run in the top of the third when Frank Triozzi scored on a Kyle Davis base hit, but that was all the Gators would get.
Esposito struck out three batters on the day and did not walk anyone. Mahoney did not surrender any hits in his one inning of work.
Allegheny's Brandon Ellis took the loss for the Gators after surrendering four runs in just two innings of work. He struck out three and walked only one.
In the nightcap CUA struck first with four runs in the second. Chris McCloud laced a one-out single and Kory Smigocki followed with a walk. Matt Grieb was then hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Mierzwa, who reached on an error, which brought home McCloud to make it 1-0.
Smigocki scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0 and with two outs Dave Grear delivered a two-run single to put the Cardinals in front by four.
Swarthmore got two runs back in the fourth to pull within 4-2 and it remained that way until the seventh inning.
The Garnet put the first three batters on forcing CUA to make a pitching change. Mahoney was called on and the first batter he faced, Spencer Ross, greeted him with a two-run double to tie things up at four. The Garnet added three more runs to take a 7-4 lead.
CUA got one of the runs back in its half of the seventh when McCloud brought home Brendan Breslin with a single, Swarthmore answered with three more runs in the eighth to take a 10-4 lead.
The Cardinals refused to give in though scoring three times in the bottom of the inning when Hanna drilled a three-run homer to bring the Cardinals within two. CUA's rally came up short though when the Cardinals went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth.
Neil Mejia got the win for Swarthmore after throwing six innings and allowing four runs to go along with five strikeouts. Rob Renzi suffered the setback for CUA after he gave up three earned runs in one inning of work.
On Monday CUA will take on Penn State-Berks in an 11:30 a.m. contest.