WASHINGTON, D.C. --- The third seeded Moravian College baseball team posted a 9-4 victory over second seed The United States Merchant Marine Academy in the opening round of the 2013 Landmark Conference Tournament being hosted by The Catholic University of America Saturday.
The Greyhounds, who set a school record with nine stolen bases in the victory, advance to the winner's bracket game on Sunday, May 5th at 12:30 p.m. versus fourth seed The University of Scranton which defeated host and top seed Catholic, 5-4, in Saturday's other first round matchup.
The Mariners scored first with a run in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI double by junior outfielder Andrew MacKinnon.
The Greyhounds scored four times in the top of the third inning to take a 4-1 lead. Freshman outfielder Jimmy McCarthy led off with an infield single, Moravian's fourth infield hit of the game. McCarthy then stole second and third base before tying the game on a wild pitch. Sophomore outfielder Matt Hanson connected on another infield single with one out, and he scored on an RBI single by freshman first baseman Charles Savite. Junior outfielder Joseph Connell followed with an RBI double to score Savite while Connell crossed the plate on an RBI double from sophomore third baseman Ryan Luke.
Moravian added a run in the top of the seventh to extend its lead to 5-1. Hanson reached on an error to start the inning, and he scored on another RBI double by Connell with one out.
The Greyhounds scored three more runs in the top half of the eighth inning to push the lead to 8-1. McCarthy singled with one out, and after sophomore shortstop Colin Case walked and Hanson was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Savite hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score McCarthy. Connell followed with a two-RBI double that scored Case and Hanson, and Connell tied the school record on the play with his third double of the game.
USMMA scored three times in the bottom of the eighth to cut Moravian's lead to 8-4. Junior first baseman Jake Martin and junior catcher Nicholas Nalette each had RBI singles in the inning while junior outfielder Nicholas Dimas added an RBI ground out.
Moravian would get a run back in the top of the ninth inning to make the advantage five runs, 9-4, on a one-out solo home run by freshman catcher Mike Roethke, the first homer of his collegiate career.
Each team had 12 hits in the game with Connell going three-for-four to lead the Greyhounds. Roethke was two-for-four while Luke was two-for-five and McCarthy went two-for-six. Natelle was three-for-four to lead the Mariners with MacKinnon, junior second baseman Warren Hartmann and sophomore pitcher/designated hitter Cameron Stadele Junior Robert Solano started on the mound for the Greyhounds and tossed a complete game, his first of the season, to improve to 5-2. Solano allowed four runs on 12 hits and a walk while striking out four batters.
Stadele started for the Mariners and allowed five runs, four earned, on nine hits and two walks to go with six strikeouts in seven innings of action. Freshman Brad Suciu tossed the final two innings with four runs on three hits and a walk to go with one strikeout.
The Greyhounds return to Talbot Field on Sunday, May 5th in the winner's bracket versus Scranton at 12:30 p.m. The winner of that game will move into the championship round on Monday, May 6th.