FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (May 5, 2018) – On Saturday afternoon, the #4 seed U.S. Merchant Marine Academy baseball team eliminated top-seed Farmingdale State with a 9-2 victory on the second day of the Skyline double-elimination championship tournament, hosted by the Rams. Earlier in the day, FSC had lost to #2 St. Joseph's-L.I., 7-1, so that set up the elimination game against the Mariners. With the victory, USMMA improves to 27-13, while the Rams end the year 24-14.
Merchant Marine will now move on to face St. Joseph's-L.I. tomorrow – Sunday, May 5 – and will have to defeat the Golden Eagles two times in order to win the Skyline title, as SJC has yet to lose in the double-elimination tourney. The first game of the day tomorrow has been moved up to a 10 a.m. start due to impeding inclement weather later in the day on Sunday.
In Saturday's win over Farmingdale, junior pitcher John Kelly Jr. (Apex, N.C.) tossed a complete game, allowing just two runs (one earned) on six hits with three strikeouts. He picked up his first victory of the season, as his record moves to 1-2.
The Mariners trailed 1-0 after allowing a run in the top of the first. The score remained the same until the bottom of the fifth, when they scored three runs on a wild pitch that plated senior Jacob Sithong (Orlando, Fla.), an RBI double by classmate Bryson Campbell (Cool, Calif.) that scored junior Jesse Reinebold (Granger, Ind.) and a single by junior Kyle Cunningham (Panama City Beach, Fla.) that brought home senior Michael Barnes (Alexandria, Va.).
USMMA added three more in the sixth on a two-RBI double by Barnes that scored junior Zack Winzer (Muskegon, Mich.) and Sithong, followed by a single by Campbell that brought Barnes home.
The Mariners tacked on one more in the seventh on an unearned run by Winzer, and two more in the eighth when Campbell came across after an error and freshman Jack McCann (Newark, Del.) plated Cunningham with a sacrifice fly to put Merchant Marine ahead 9-1.
The Rams scored their own unearned run in the top of the ninth, but the game was already well out of reach.
Campbell finished the day 4-for-5 with two doubles, two RBIs and a run scored. Sithong was 3-for-5 with a triple and two runs and Barnes, Cunningham and Winzer all had two hits, Barnes with the two-RBI double.
For Farmingdale, only sophomore Ernie Geraci had a multi-hit day with two hits, and four other Rams had one hit apiece. Sophomore Vincent Rice knocked in junior Anthony Gigante in the opening inning with a single, and in the ninth, sophomore Devin Caybasi scored on an RBI groundout by classmate Tyler Schrimpf.
The Rams went through six pitchers on the afternoon, with Jake Jacobs getting the start, but only lasting 1.2 innings giving up two hits with one strikeout and three walks. He was replaced by sophomore Joe Marino with the bases loaded in the second. Marino was able to get out of that jam, but wound up suffering the loss after he allowed two runs in 2.1 innings on three hits with two Ks.
Once again, tomorrow's necessary game against #2 St. Joseph's-L.I. will begin at 10 a.m. at Farmingdale State College. The "if necessary" second game will begin approximately 35 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. Live links to follow along with the action will be available on the USMMA Baseball Schedule Page.
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