FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (May 3, 2019) – The #2-seed U.S. Merchant Marine Academy baseball team won its first game of the Skyline Conference double-elimination tournament over #3-seed Old Westbury, 5-2, on Friday at top-seeded Farmingdale State.
The victory improves the Mariners' record to 28-9 – tying the Academy record for wins in a season set last year – and also advances USMMA to the second day of the tournament, where they will face the winner of the #1 Rams vs. #4 SUNY Maritime game. The Panthers drop to 21-15-1 with the loss and, later tonight, will face the loser of Friday's second game.
- Senior Andrew Spinnenweber (Pasadena, Md.) got the start and earned the win, his sixth of the season as he remains undefeated at 6-0. He tossed seven innings of two-run ball on six hits with nine strikeouts.
- Sophomore Andrew Hunt (Severna Park, Md.) pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning before senior Kyle Cunningham (Panama City Beach, Fla.) earned his NCAA-leading 12th save of the season with a clean ninth inning, striking out one.
- The Mariners got on the board first when Cunningham led off the bottom of the second with a double, then was moved over on a groundout and scored on a play at the plate where he slid in under the gage after a throw from the shortstop who fielded the groundball by junior Matt Mundorf (San Luis Obispo, Calif.).
- After Spinnenweber sat down the first nine batters he faced, Merchant Marine doubled its lead in the third on a two-out RBI infield single by sophomore Vincenzo Alteri (Watertown, N.Y.) that plated classmate Colin Baker (Clyde Hill, Wash.).
- Spinnenweber found himself in a jam in the fourth, as Old Westbury put together three-straight singles to make it 2-1 before loading the bases. Another single tied it up, but the Mariners got the first out on a fielder's choice force-play at the plate. Spinnenweber got the next two clutch outs via back-to-back strikeouts to avoid further damage.
- The big hit of the game came in the bottom of the fifth off the bat of sophomore Alex Mesaros (Pittsburgh, Pa.). Early in the inning, with one out, freshman Garrett Aichele (Bainbridge Island, Wash.) drew a walk. He then moved over to second on a groundout before the Panthers intentionally walked Alteri. After Cunningham was hit by a pitch, Mesaros came up with the bases loaded and two outs and delivered a double to the left field gap that cleared the bases to give Merchant Marine a 5-2 lead.
- Old Westbury left two stranded in the top of the sixth and went in order in the seventh, eighth and ninth, as the Mariners claimed the big victory.
- Alteri finished the day 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and a run, while Cunningham scored a game-high two runs.
- For the Panthers, senior John Condon was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and sophomore Shaun Kaminski knocked in the second run. On the mound, senior Christian Tessitore hurled the complete game, eight innings, giving up four runs (five earned) on six hits with 10 strikeouts.
Saturday's game between the Mariners and the winner of the Farmingdale-SUNY Maritime game will begin at 10 a.m. at Farmingdale State. Live coverage to follow along with Saturday's action will be available with links on the USMMA Baseball Schedule Page.
The Farmingdale-SUNY Maritime game will begin at 4:30 p.m. on Friday. To follow all of the action during the Skyline Tournament, visit the Skyline Baseball Tournament Central Page.
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