SCRANTON, Pa. (April 10, 2016) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy baseball team took two Landmark Conference games in a league doubleheader over Scranton on Sunday afternoon, winning the opener 11-4, before coming out on top in the second game, 9-2. The victories improve the Mariners to 8-16 (4-7 Landmark), while the Royals fall to 10-12 (5-6 Landmark).
Sophomore Bryson Campbell (Cool, Calif.) (3-for-4) and Michael Barnes (Alexandria, Va.) (2-for-4) led the USMMA offense in the first game with three RBIs apiece. Campbell had two doubles and scored two runs for the Mariners and Barnes hit his first career home run, a solo shot to lead off the second inning, and added a double as he scored once in the game.
Junior Matthew Thomson (Memphis, Tenn.) went 4-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored, while senior Jeff Suciu (Zanesville, Ohio) was 2-for-5 and also knocked in two with one run scored. Freshman Kai Vitella (Lewes, Del.) plated the other Mariner run as he was 2-for-5 with a run scored, and classmate Tyler Mowry (Peachtree City, Ga.) scored twice. Sophomore Steve Lucy (Leawood, Kan.) and freshman Jesse Reinebold (Granger, Ind.) also scored for Merchant Marine.
The Mariners fell behind 2-0 after one inning, but brought three runs across to take the lead in the top of the second. USMMA outscored the Royals 8-2 in the final three innings to seal the victory.
Junior Patrick Morgan (Roxboro, N.C.) earned the victory after tossing six innings and allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits with four strikeouts. Freshman Kyle Cunningham (Panama City Beach, Fla.) hurled a scoreless seventh inning, giving up two hits, but strikeout out three Scranton batters.
In game two, the Royals again scored two runs in the bottom of the first. The Mariners responded with two in the third to tie the score on back-to-back RBI groundouts by Mowry and Campbell that scored Lucy and Thomson. USMMA took the lead in the top of the fourth when freshman Braden Barnett (Dhahran, Saudi Arabia) crushed his first career home run, a two-out, two-run bomb to left field.
The Mariners doubled their score in the top of the fifth inning with four more runs to make it 8-2. With the bases loaded, Campbell scored on a wild pitch, followed by a two-run double by Reinebold that plated Suciu and Barnes. Two batters later, Lucy singled to right to score Reinebold.
Barnett scored his second run of the game in the top of the seventh on an RBI fielder's choice by Thomson that closed out the scoring in the game.
Freshman starter Andrew Spinnenweber (Pasadena, Md.) pitched his first career complete game victory, going the distance and allowing two runs on three hits with six strikeouts.
The Mariners close out the series against the Royals on Tuesday afternoon back in Pennsylvania. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. The game will feature a live stats link, which is available by clicking here.
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