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March 1, 2014

Baseball Opens Season with Double Header Sweep of Coast Guard

Yaphank, NY – Warren Hartmann (Wyckoff, NJ) went 6-for-8 with four RBI, including a three-run homer, as the USMMA baseball team swept Coast Guard in a Saturday afternoon double header.  Timothy Arner (Allentown, PA) and Kyle Clausen (Southold, NY) both produced strong starts on the mound as the Mariners claimed the wins, 8-3 and 9-3.  The sweep also clinches the Superintendents' Trophy for the Merchant Marine Academy after earning more head-to-head wins against the Coast Guard Academy in the 2013-14 athletic season.

Coast Guard (0-2) set up the opening run of the day in the top of the first after Matt Hanks reached second on a hit by pitch and a wild pitch.  The Bears runner crossed the plate on the next play, a USMMA throwing error.  The Mariners would knot the game at 1-1 in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a bases loaded RBI walk from Tyler Alger (Fairfax, VA).  The Bears regained the lead with two runs in the second inning.  The Bears drew back-to-back walks with no outs while Kyle Jackson and Mark Behne supplied RBI singles for Coast Guard.

Merchant Marine (2-0) struck for a quick run in the third inning as Hartmann and Danny Collins (Sleepy Hollow, NY) ripped back-to-back doubles.  USMMA tied it at 3-3 as a pick-off play with runners at the corners ultimately resulted in Collins scampering home.  The Mariners grabbed their first lead of the afternoon in the bottom of the fifth with a Coast Guard throwing error that resulted in two runs.

Hartmann's three-run homer in the sixth pushed the score to 8-3, providing some insurance runs for Merchant Marine.  Arner picked up the victory on the mound, tossing five innings while allowing five hits and striking out four.  Freshman Patrick Morgan (Roxboro, NC) and Cameron Stadele (Alpharetta, GA) each worked a perfect inning of relief to seal the 8-3 verdict in game one of the double header.

Jake Martin (San Diego, CA) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning of game two, staking USMMA to a 1-0 edge.  Stadele kept USCGA off the board in the top of the third with a great running catch on the right field line with two outs, saving a pair of runs.  Merchant Marine created some breathing room with a four-run, two-out rally in the bottom of the third inning.  Collins started the surge with a single and immediately scored on a Stadele double.  Martin followed with a RBI single and Joseph Policastro (Hauppague, NY) made it 5-0 with a two-run single to left field.

USMMA continued to roll with four runs in the fifth inning.  Andrew MacKinnon (Buffalo, NY) had the big hit with a two-run single to left field.   Clausen pitched five shutout innings in his first start of the 2014 season.  The sophomore earned the win after striking out four batters and surrendering just five hits.  Zach De St. Germain (Eagle, ID) notched a scoreless inning of relief in his first collegiate appearance. 

Dave Wolinski supplied the Bears only runs of the second game with a long three-run homer in the top of the seventh.  However, Coast Guard was unable to put anyone else on base as the Mariners finished the sweep.

Merchant Marine is scheduled to return to action Wednesday against Farmingdale State.