KINGS POINT, N.Y. (May 2, 2018) – On Wednesday afternoon, the #4-seed U.S. Merchant Marine Academy baseball team hosted Skyline rival #5-seeded SUNY Maritime in first round action of the conference tournament. The Mariners defeated the visiting Privateers by the final score of 10-1 to advance to this weekend's double-elimination tournament to decide the winner of the 2018 Skyline Conference Championship.
With the victory, USMMA's record improves to 25-12 on the season, while Maritime ends the year with a 23-13 mark.
Junior pitcher Andrew Spinnenweber (Pasadena, Md.) was a big difference in the game, as he hurled seven strong innings, allowing just an unearned run on four hits, while striking out eight Privateer batters.
Big production at the dish came from senior Bryson Campbell (Cool, Calif.), who went 4-for-4 with a double, two runs batted in and two runs scored. Five other Mariners had multi-hit days, as senior Michael Barnes (Alexandria, Va.) was 3-for-5 with a double, one RBI and one run and the following players all had two hits – junior Jesse Reinebold (Granger, Ind.) (2-for-5, two doubles, three runs), freshman Alex Mesaros (Pittsburgh, Pa.) (2-for-5, three RBIs, one run), classmate Vincenzo Alteri (Watertown, N.Y.) (2-for-5, two RBIs) and junior Zack Winzer (Muskegon, Mich.) (2-for-5, a triple, one run).
Merchant Marine opened the scoring in the bottom of the opening inning when Reinebold and Barnes hit back-to-back doubles. They added three more runs in the second to go up 4-0. Senior Jacob Sithong (Orlando, Fla.) knocked a double to right center that plated Winzer, and then scored himself on after a costly Maritime error. The last run of the second came on an RBI single by Campbell that scored Reinebold.
The Privateers got on the board with an unearned run in the top of the third on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Phil Russo that brought freshman Travis Zurita home. That was all the visitors could muster, however, as the Mariners went on to score two more in the fourth and four in the sixth to open up a big 10-1 lead.
In the fourth, Campbell hit a ground-rule double to left center that scored Reinebold again and then he came around to score on a Mesaros single. The final four runs came on back-to-back two-RBI singles by Mesaros (which scored Barnes and Campbell) and Alteri (which plated junior Tyler Mowry (Peachtree City, Ga.) and Mesaros).
Two different pitchers finished the final two shutout, 1-2-3 innings for USMMA in the eight and ninth – freshman Andrew Hunt (Severna Park, Md.) and junior John Kelly Jr. (Apex, N.C.), respectively, with Kelly Jr. getting one strikeout.
Maritime used five different pitchers, as senior Anthony D'Ancona suffered the loss after tossing just three innings and giving up five runs (three earned) on nine hits with one K. The following three relievers all gave up at least one run, but junior Alex Poliwoda finished the final 2.2 innings and gave up just two hits with two strikeouts. Senior Stephen Semler was the only Privateer to have a multi-hit game, as he finished the day 2-for-4 with a double.
Merchant Marine now moves on to face top-seeded Farmingdale State this Friday, May 4, in the opening game of this weekend's double-elimination tournament. First pitch is scheduled for 12-noon at the Rams' Athletic Facility. Live links to follow along all games of this weekend's tournament will be available on the USMMA Baseball Schedule Page.
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