Patchogue, NY – Joseph Policastro (Hauppague, NY) hit a two-run walk-off single Tuesday night, sending the USMMA baseball team to its sixth straight win with a 6-5 victory over Baruch. Grant Foley (Butler, PA) played a big role in the decision, going 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBI. Brad Suciu (Zanesville, OH) picked up his second win in relief this season with a scoreless ninth inning.
Merchant Marine (8-2) opened the scoring in the bottom of the second as Foley dropped a RBI single down the right field line to make it 1-0. The Bearcats would answer with three runs in the top of the third to grab a 3-1 advantage. The big hit of the inning was a two-run single through the center of the diamond off the bat of Zachary Uher.
USMMA leveled the contest at 3-3 in its next turn at bat after Matthew Thomson (Memphis, TN) and Warren Hartmann (Wyckoff, NJ) started the frame with back-to-back singles. Two batters later, Cameron Stadele (Alpharetta, GA) ripped a single over third base to plate both runners.
Baruch (3-8) struck for a pair of runs in the top of the fourth as Nicholas Pomo-Roman hit a two RBI, two-out single to center field. Stadele kept the Bearcats from adding to their lead in the top of the seventh. The junior threw out a runner at the plate with a strong throw from right field to keep the Mariners down 5-3 heading into the late innings.
Merchant Marine began its rally in the bottom of the ninth with back-to-back leadoff free passes to Jake Martin (San Diego, CA) and Richard Kernan (Blythewood, SC). Quinn Fleming (Ashburn, VA) loaded the bases with a perfect bunt up the third base line for a single. Foley brought USMMA to within one at 5-4 with a sacrifice fly that advanced all three runners.
The Bearcats would choose to load the bases and set the stage for Policastro's walk-off. The junior hit a flare into right-center field that plated two runs and started the USMMA celebration. The victory is the first walk-off of the 2014 season for Merchant Marine.
The Mariners will take their six-game winning streak into the start of Landmark Conference play this weekend at Susquehanna.