Fort Myers, FL – Freshman pitcher Kyle Clausen (Southold, NY) picked up a complete game victory in his first collegiate start as the Mariners fired on all cylinders for a 13-1 rout of Anna Maria Wednesday morning at the Gene Cusic Classic. Clausen allowed just one unearned and eight total base runners to lift USMMA to its first win of the 2013 season. Cameron Stadele (Alpharetta, GA) shined at the plate, going 3-for-4 with three RBI and three runs scored.
Merchant Marine (1-2) exploded in the first inning for five runs, forcing the Amcats starter from the game after just two-thirds of an inning. Andrew MacKinnon (Buffalo, NY) started the frame with a single and a stolen base before Danny Collins (Sleepy Hollow, NY) brought him home with a RBI single to left. Stadele doubled to provide the next run while Jake Martin (San Diego, CA) made it 3-0 with a base knock through the right side of the infield. Nicholas Kopacka (Saugus, CA), Jacob Wood (Richmond, VA), and Nicholas Dimas (Keller, TX) followed suit with singles to give USMMA seven straight hits and push the advantage to 5-0 before Clausen took the mound.
Anna Maria (2-3) worked a walk in its first at-bat of the game but Clausen immediately induced a 5-4-3 double play to erase the base runner and find his groove. He retired 10 of the next 12 hitters and got help from his defense as Dimas recorded his second outfield assist of the tournament with a frozen rope to cut down a runner trying to go first to third.
Stadele opened the third inning with a single and a stolen base but the Mariners would wait until there were two outs to do more damage. Wood notched his second straight RBI single and Dimas kept the inning alive with a hit of his own. Joseph Policastro (Hauppauge, NY) found the center of the diamond for another USMMA RBI single. Warren Hartmann (Wyckoff, NJ) capped the rally with a two-run single to left on the first pitch he saw, increasing the USMMA cushion to 9-0.
The Amcats pushed across an unearned run in the fifth but the Mariners immediately answered with two markers of their own in the bottom of the inning, both coming on a Stadele single to center.
Clausen faced one of his few jams of the day in the eighth inning but a called strike-three ended the threat and allowed the rookie to take the hill in the ninth. A routine groundball and a strikeout set the stage for the final out. Catcher Nicholas Nalette (Goffstown, NH) squeezed a pop fly just in front of the plate, sealing the 13-1 complete game victory.
The USMMA baseball team will be in Florida until Saturday to compete in the Gene Cusic Classic.