KINGS POINT, N.Y. (April 11, 2015) – The USMMA baseball team lost both games of a home Landmark Conference doubleheader against Elizabethtown College on Saturday afternoon at Lower Roosevelt Field, dropping game one 7-2 before losing the second game by the final of 14-4. The Mariners' record moves to an even 11-11 overall (6-8 Landmark), while the Blue Jays improve to 18-9 (9-5 Landmark).
In the first game, freshman Michael Barnes (Alexandria, Va.) was 1-for-3 at the plate and knocked in both Merchant Marine runs with a two-out double to deep right in the third inning. Junior Grant Foley (Butler, Pa.) and freshman Jacob Sithong (Orlando, Fla.) both went 1-for-3 with a run scored.
Barnes' double in the fourth made the score 4-2 in favor of Elizabethtown, as the Blue Jays scored one run in the first inning and three more in the second. The visitors added three more, all unearned, in the top of the fourth.
Elizabethtown's right starter, senior Kristopher Davis, pitched the complete game victory and allowed just those three Mariner hits while striking out seven for his fifth win of the year. For the Mariners, sophomore Patrick Morgan (Roxboro, N.C.) got the start and hurled five innings, allowing seven runs (just three earned) on eight hits with four Ks. His record falls to an even 2-2. He was replaced by senior Jeff Wright (Las Vegas, Nev.) in the sixth, who went on to pitch two scoreless (and hitless) innings with one strikeout.
The second game saw E-Town jump out to an early lead again with two runs in the top of the first. Merchant Marine came back to tie the score in the bottom of the fourth after Sithong led off with a single to left and made it to third after a sacrifice bunt followed by a groundout. The Mariners then hit three straight singles by freshman Bryson Campbell (Cool, Calif) (which scored Sithong), junior Zack De St. Germain (Eagle, Idaho) (which advanced Campbell to third) and sophomore Francis Grzymkowski (Stafford, Va.) (which scored Campbell).
The Blue Jays recaptured the lead with a run in the next half-inning, but USMMA went on to take its first lead of the day with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Sithong had an RBI-single to right that scored Foley (who led off with a single) and then freshman Dylan Rabbitt (Easton, Md.) (who reached on a bunt-single earlier in the inning) came across after on a double-play ball to put Merchant Marine ahead, 4-3.
The advantage was short-lived, however, as Elizabethtown scored three runs with two outs in the top of the sixth inning. The Mariners were close to getting out of a bases-loaded jam, but E-Town's leadoff batter sophomore Kyle Fackler smacked a three-run triple to deep center to put the visitors back ahead, 6-4.
In the top of the seventh, the Blue Jays tacked on eight more to put the game away, but just one of those runs was an earned run.
Sithong was 3-for-4 in the game with one RBI and one run scored. Campbell went 2-for-3 and also had an RBI and a run and Foley also went 2-for-3 and scored one run.
Senior John Kret (Chappaqua, N.Y.) suffered the loss after tossing 5.2 innings, allowing six runs (four earned) on eight hits with one strikeout. Junior Jeff Suciu (Zanesville, Ohio) and senior Reed Buck (Lawrenceville, Ga.) both pitched 0.2 innings of relief and allowed four runs each (just one earned off Suciu and none earned off Buck).
Despite exiting with his team trailing 4-3 after the fifth, E-Town sophomore Kevin Elwell earned the victory, pitching five innings and allowing four runs on eight hits with two strikeouts. Senior Taras Letnaunchyn and junior Sean Jones both pitched one inning of relief, each allowing just one hit apiece.
The two teams will play each other again at noon tomorrow, Sunday, April 12. Before the first pitch, the Mariners will pay tribute to their eight seniors with a special Senior Day ceremony.