FORT MYERS, Fla. (March 12, 2016) – The USMMA baseball team split its doubleheader with Gettysburg College on Saturday in its final day of action at the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic. Led by a complete game victory by junior Patrick Morgan (Roxboro, N.C.), the Mariners took game one, 6-2, but lost the second game, 4-2. With the split, Merchant Marine's record moves to 2-6 overall, while the Bullets move to 7-4.
Morgan tossed all seven innings for the win in the opener. He allowed two runs on 13 hits with three strikeouts. At the plate, freshman Kai Vitella (Lewes, Del.) had the big hit with a two-run RBI single in the third inning that made the score 5-1 at the time. Sophomore Bryson Campbell (Cool, Calif.) finished the game going 2-for-4 with an RBI double in the first inning and two runs scored, while classmate Michael Barnes (Alexandria, Va.) and junior Rick Kernan (Blythewood, S.C.) also dished out RBI hits. Freshman Jesse Reinebold (Granger, Ind.) scored twice and Barnes and Vitella both had a run each.
In the second game, freshman Andrew Spinnenweber (Pasadena, Md.) got the starting nod and allowed just one run on six hits in six innings while striking out nine Bullet batters. The Mariners got on the board first in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI triple by Barnes that plated Reinbold. Gettysburg responded with a leadoff solo home run to left center by Will Anderson in the sixth to tie the score.
The game went into extras and senior reliever Jeff Suciu saw most of the work, hurling two shutout innings and allowing two hits with one strikeout. The Bullets put up a three-spot in the top of the ninth inning, including a two-run homer by Anderson. All three runs were unearned due to a costly Mariner error to start the inning.
USMMA got one run back in the bottom of the ninth, but it wasn't enough, as Gettysburg freshman closer Will Wortmann came in to get the final three outs after a leadoff double to seal the victory for junior starter Aaron Bezio. Bezio went eight innings and allowed two runs on seven hits and, like Spinnenweber, fanned nine batters.
The Mariners travel back to New York Saturday night and will return to action this coming Tuesday, March 15, when they travel to Brooklyn's MCU Park (home of the Brooklyn Cyclones) to face non-conference opponent Baruch. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
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