BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Bolstered by some impressive offensive numbers, CUA won its third Landmark Conference championship in the last four years with a 14-9 victory over Scranton on Monday on the campus of Moravian College. The Cardinals scored five times in the first, added six more in the fourth and pounded out 16 hits to earn their first NCAA Tournament bid since 1977.
Today's win gives CUA its first-ever bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament; back in 1977 CUA was a member of Division I.
Scranton scored twice in the top of the first to take an early lead, but CUA stormed back with five runs in the bottom half to go in front 5-2. LJ Travaglia led off with a double, Dan Sullivan walked and Chris McCloud smashed a three-run homer to left to give CUA a 3-2 advantage. RBI singles by Marc Hanna and Mark Kalokitis then put the Cardinals in front by three runs.
The score remained that way until CUA put up a six-spot in the fourth to claim an 11-2 lead. The first two batters walked and McCloud singled to load the bases. Matt Grieb was next and he singled in Travaglia and Sullivan, while two batters later Hanna doubled in McCloud and Grieb.
Tim Mierzwa later doubled in a pair of runs to complete the scoring for CUA.
The Royals came right back with two runs in the top of the fifth when David Giglio hit a two-run homerun to left, and they started to make things interesting with four more runs in the seventh. That made it an 11-6 game, but Dave Grear blasted a two-run shot to left in the next half inning to put CUA back in front by seven.
The Cardinals completed their scoring in the eighth when McCloud singled home Mierzwa, and Thomas Travaglia earned the save after working the final three innings on the mound.
Robin Mowatt earned the win for the Cardinals after he went six innings, struck out three and allowed four runs. Rob Steinkopf also pitched, while Travaglia struck out one, while allowing three runs in his three innings of work in relief.
Scranton starter Matt Mosko did not get out of the first inning when he allowed five runs on two hits and walked three. He suffered the loss for the Royals.
McCloud and Hanna finished with three hits apiece for CUA, while Grieb, Grear, Kalokitis and Mierzwa each had two hits. McCloud drove in a team-high four runs and Hanna drove in three.
CUA will now wait to see where it is sent for the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The field will be announced on Sunday, May 15 on NCAA.com.