Fort Myers, FL – In the final game of the Gene Cusic Classic Cameron Stadele (Alpharetta, GA) pitched a complete game shutout as the Mariners took a 6-0 victory in the second game of a Friday double header. Coast Guard edged Merchant Marine in the opening game, 11-9, in a slugfest that also featured sloppy play on both sides. USMMA stole four bases in the double dip while Stadele, Nicholas Kopacka (Saugus, CA), and Jake Martin (San Diego, CA) all finished the day with three RBI.
Merchant Marine (2-3) struck in the opening inning of the second game as Joseph Policastro (Hauppauge, NY) led-off with a single. Warren Hartmann (Wyckoff, NJ) moved the runner to third base with a double roped down the left field line. Hartmann put together three straight doubles between the two contests. Danny Collins (Sleepy Hollow, NY) brought home the run with a sacrifice fly to right field.
The Mariners made it 2-0 in the third frame as Hartmann's double was followed by a RBI single from Stadele. Hartmann also started the Mariners' big inning in the fifth with a single and a stolen base. Collins plated the USMMA second baseman while Martin followed suit with a run scoring single to left center field. Kopacka ripped a double to left to make it 5-0 and later executed a steal of home on the front end of a double steal that pushed the Merchant Marine cushion to 6-0.
Stadele continued to roll on the mound and allowed just eight baserunners in his seven innings of work. The sophomore finishes the tournament with a 0.75 ERA, surrendering just one run in 12 innings. Stadele recorded his fourth strikeout of the game on the final batter to lock up the 6-0 shutout victory.
Coast Guard (1-1) leveled the opening game of the day at 2-2 in the third inning after USMMA got RBI from Martin and Kopacka in the second frame. The Bears took advantage of three Mariner errors in the sixth inning to score seven runs and grab a 9-2 advantage. The big blow came on a three-run double off the bat of Nolan Gallagher.
The Mariners refused to go quietly and racked up five runs in their half of the inning. Stadele and Nicholas Dimas (Keller, TX) both knocked in a pair of runs in the rally. However, Coast Guard notched two insurance runs in the top of the seventh that would prove to be the difference in the game. USMMA again showed heart in the bottom of the seventh with RBI from Collins and Martin. Merchant Marine was able to get the tying run to first base with two outs but could not finish the comeback as Coast Guard claimed game one of the double header, 11-9.
Merchant Marine finishes its time in Fort Myers, FL at the Gene Cusic Classic with a 2-3 record. The Mariners have two non-conference games scheduled for this week that will be played depending on the weather and current field conditions. Please check www.USMMASports.com for updates.