Huntingdon, PA – The USMMA baseball team earned a tight 8-7 victory as well as a 13-2 blowout of Juniata Saturday afternoon. The Mariners currently sit in second-place in the Landmark Conference and need a win tomorrow to secure the second seed in the 2013 Landmark Conference Tournament.
Merchant Marine (15-12, 10-7 Landmark) immediately cracked the scoreboard in the top of the first inning of the opening game on a Danny Collins (Sleepy Hollow, NY) RBI. The Eagles took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second with a pair of runs. However, the Mariners answered right back with a four run frame in the top of the third. Collins and Cameron Stadele (Alpharetta, GA) both posted back-to-back run-scoring doubles to give USMMA a 3-2 edge. The Mariners next two runs came on an Eagles fielding error followed by a wild pitch.
Juniata (9-23, 4-10 Landmark) plated five runs in the fourth inning to grab a 7-5 advantage and force the USMMA starter from the game. Merchant Marine quickly tied it at 7-7 in the fifth on a Nicholas Kopacka (Saugus, CA) RBI double and a Keil Silva (Castle Rock, CO) bases loaded walk. Silva would strike again in the top of the seventh to knock-in the go-ahead run with an infield single. Joseph Policastro (Hauppauge, NY) sealed the Mariners 8-7 triumph with three innings of scoreless relief as the sophomore picked up his fourth victory of 2013.
The Mariners took control from the start of game two with a huge eight-run first inning. Collins, Stadele, Andrew MacKinnon (Buffalo, NY), and Quinn Fleming (Ashburn, VA) all drove in a run in the rally. The big hit came off the bat of Policastro, who cleared the bases with a three-run double to left-center field. Stadele increased the cushion to 9-0 in the second with a solo shot, his first homer of 2013.
Stadele also picked up his fourth win on the mound this season, surrendering just two runs to the Eagles. Fleming, Stadele, and Policastro all registered three RBI in the Mariners 13-2 rout. The USMMA sweep secures the three-game set as the Mariners will go 4-2 in Landmark Conference series this season.
Merchant Marine will look for the series sweep tomorrow in their final Landmark Conference regular season game at 12:00 pm.