Kings Point, NY – The USMMA baseball team captured the opening game of a double header with Scranton Saturday afternoon, 4-3, to secure a series victory over their Landmark Conference rival. The Royals avoided the sweep by defeating the Mariners, 6-1, in the finale. Timothy Arner (Allentown, PA) allowed just one earned run in six innings on the mound to get the win in the opener.
Merchant Marine (5-7, 3-3 Landmark) struck in the bottom of the first inning as Andrew MacKinnon (Buffalo, NY) and Warren Hartmann (Wyckoff, NJ) knocked back-to-back singles to put runners at first and second. A wild pitch advanced both runners while the Royals' catcher air mailed a throw up the left field line to allow MacKinnon to scamper home with the game's first run.
Scranton (6-6, 3-2 Landmark) evened the score in the top of the second with an unearned run that scored on a first and third double steal. Ross Danzig gave the Royals a 2-1 advantage in the top of the third with a long homerun over the right center field fence. The Mariners leveled it at 2-2 in the fourth frame with a two-out rally. Cameron Stadele (Alpharetta, GA) singled up the middle to keep the inning alive and scored from first base on a RBI double off the bat of Jake Martin (San Diego, CA).
The Mariners would have to close another deficit as Scranton pushed back in front again in the top of the sixth with another unearned run. USMMA answered in its half of the inning as Hartmann ripped a double to left center and scored the tying run on a Danny Collins (Sleepy Hollow, NY) single to center. Stadele also cracked a double to left center to push Collins to third and Martin was issued an intentional walk to load the bases. Nicholas Kopacka (Saugus, CA) brought in what would be the winning run with a perfectly placed infield single to the right of the mound.
Chris O'Donnell (Daytona Beach, FL) was called in to save the game for USMMA and set down the Royals in order to pick up his first save of the season and lock up the 4-3 triumph.
The Royals quickly jumped on the Mariners in game two of the double header with a pair of markers on RBI from Michael. Gaeta and Michael Amaturo. Merchant Marine got one run back in the bottom of the second with a RBI single to left off the bat of Keil Silva (Castle Rock, CO). However, an inning ending double play ball would end the Mariners chance to pull even.
Matthew Calamoneri would allow just one more Mariner to reach scoring position as the Royals sophomore pitched a complete game for his first win of the season. Scranton continued to tack on runs and eventually avoided a series sweep at the hands of USMMA with a 6-1 victory.
The USMMA baseball team returns to action this Wednesday at Lower Roosevelt Field as they host Maritime (NY) in a non-conference clash at 4:00 pm.