USMMA Tops Drew, 8-3

Junior Infielder - Danny Collins - #24
Junior Infielder - Danny Collins - #24

MADISON, NJ – The United States Merchant Marine Academy Mariners (7-7, 4-3 Landmark) put together two big rallies to clinch game one of a three game weekend set, by a score of 8-3 over the Rangers of Drew University (5-10, 0-4 Landmark) Friday afternoon in Madison, NJ.

Merchant Marine scored four runs in the fifth inning and three runs in the seventh; powering them to their fourth Landmark Conference victory of the season.

It was the Rangers who owned the lead twice over the first two innings as they got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first with a two-out double down the line by J.C. Rasic (Pasadena, CA).  However, the Mariners tied the ball game at one in the top of the inning on a bases loaded single by sophomore infielder Joseph Policastro (Hauppaugue, NY). 

Drew recaptured the lead in the bottom of the second inning when Anthony Feltre (Secaucus, NJ) ripped a two-out single to score Rob Cortright (Franklin Lakes, NJ) who reached on a strikeout, wild pitch earlier in the frame.

USMMA opened up a 5-2 lead in the top of the fifth after posting four runs. The Mariner rally knocked out Drew's starter who pitched four and one third innings, allowing two earned runs.

The big hit in the inning came off the bat of Mariner junior infielder Danny Collins (Sleepy Hollow, NY) who tripled to right center field, driving in a pair of runs.

Merchant Marine would then put the game out of reach in the top of the seventh with back-to-back RBI hits from Collins and sophomore outfielder Cameron Stadele (Alpharetta, GA). The Mariners also took advantage of a Drew fielding error, making the score 8-3 after six and a half innings.

Overall, Collins went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored on the day and sophomore outfielder Keil Silva (Castle Rock, CO) also put forth a multiple hit effort, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Freshman hurler Kyle Clausen (Southold, NY) picked up his thrid victory on the bump for Merchant Marine, scattering eight hits while allowing three earned runs over seven innings. Freshman Jeff Suciu (Zanesville, OH) slammed the door in relief, pitching two hitless/scoreless innings to close out the contest.

On the afternnon, Mariner pitching combined to strike out eight batters while only surrendering a pair of walks. 

In the field, junior infielder Jake Martin (San Diego, CA) had a game high 11 put outs playing first base.

For the Rangers, Neil Cashes (Little Silver, NJ) went 2-for-3 and was also hit by a pitch. Rasic drove in Drew's third run on a sacrifice fly in the fifth, finishing the day 1-for-3 with two RBIs.

The Mariners and Rangers will continue their series, playing a doubleheader Saturday March 30, on Doc Young field beginning at 1:00 p.m.

Courtesy of Drew Athletics