Photo courtesey of Axcess Baseball.
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (March 23, 2019) – Senior Andrew Spinnenweber (Pasadena, Md.) became the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy career leader in strikeouts and he nearly tossed a no-hitter in the second game of the Mariners' Skyline-opening doubleheader against Farmingdale State on Saturday. The Mariners split the twin-bill with the Rams, winning the first game, 5-2, in 13 innings and dropping the second, 2-1, in nine innings.
The split moves the Mariners' record to 8-6 (1-1 Skyline), while the Rams move to 8-5 (1-1 Skyline).
Spinnenweber struck out 13 batters in eight innings of work, allowing an unearned run on just two hits. He ended the day with 222 career strikeouts, which moves ahead of former Mariner Mike Albritton '01 (211).
The senior was down to his last strike for a no-hitter in the bottom of the seventh inning, but fell victim to a Mariner error followed by an RBI-single that tied the game up at 1-1. Spinnenweber lasted into the eighth and impressively struck out the side after the leadoff runner in the eighth made it to second base on another error. The Rams walked off with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning on a squeeze bunt play, however, and USMMA settled for a split.
The first game went to extra innings also, as the two teams were tied at 2-2 after nine innings of action. Merchant Marine pushed across three runs in the top of the 13th inning to earn the win.
At the plate in game one, sophomore Colin Baker (Clyde Hill, Wash.) went 4-for-6 with a double and two RBIs. It was his double in the 13th that gave the Mariners the go-ahead runs. Senior Jesse Reinebold (Sagamihara, Japan) and junior Matt Mundorf (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) were both 3-for-6, as Reinebold added an RBI hit after Baker in the 13th and Mundorf scored in the 13th.
Also knocking in runs for Merchant Marine were sophomores Vincenzo Alteri (Watertown, N.Y.) and Jacob Kelly (Norfolk, Va.), while Baker, freshman Garrett Aichele (Bainbridge Island, Wash.), senior Zack Winzer (Muskegon, Mich.) and junior Matthew Austin (Rockledge, Fla.) all score runs.
On the mound, senior John Kelly Jr. (Apex, N.C.) started the game and settled down after allowing two runs (one earned) in the very first inning. He finished with a no-decision, going nine innings with nine hits allowed and five strikeouts. Sophomore Andrew Hunt (Severna Park, Md.) earned the win, his second of the year, after three scoreless innings with two K's, and senior Kyle Cunningham (Panama City Beach, Fla.) picked up his fourth save of the year, tossing the scoreless bottom of the 13th.
The second game was a pitchers' duel between Spinnenweber and Farmingdale junior Steven Burke. The Mariners broke through with a run in the third on an RBI single by Alteri that plated Baker. Spinnenweber was dealing and pitched just 85 pitches into the bottom of the seventh.
After the heart-wrenching seventh where the Rams tied up the score, the teams went into extras for the second time on the day. Neither team scored after an extra inning-and-a-half until FSC won it in the ninth. Sophomore Quinton Heck (Massillon, Ohio) suffered the loss.
NOTE: Tomorrow's home doubleheader against St. Joseph's-Long Island will now be played out at St. Joe's in Patchogue, Suffolk County. First pitch of the doubleheader has been moved back to 1 p.m. at the Golden Eagles' Alfano Field. Live stats and a live video feed for both of the games will be available on the USMMA Baseball Schedule Page.
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