Moravian Survives Second Elimination Game
BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- Top seed and host Moravian College survived its second elimination game of the day and moved to the championship round of the 2012 Landmark Conference Championship Tournament with a 10-3 win over second seed The United States Merchant Marine Academy in the final elimination game Sunday at Gillespie Field.
The Greyhounds advances to play fourth seed Drew University in the championship game on Monday, May 7 at 11:00 a.m. Drew, making its first-ever appearance in the Landmark Conference Tournament, needs just one win to clinch its first-ever NCAA Division III Tournament appearance while Moravian will need to win two games to claim the 2012 Landmark Conference title and automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. USMMA finished the season at 21-15.
The Mariners would get the leadoff batter of the game on base when senior outfielder John Hubach was hit by a pitch and senior outfielder Andy Martinfollowed with a single to right field. Junior first baseman hit an RBI ground out withHubach scoring from second base to give USMMA a 1-0 lead.
Moravian would get two runners on base with a one-out single by sophomore second baseman Daniel Seitzinger and a walk to senior first baseman Kevin O'Keefe. Seitzinger was picked off second base for the second out of the inning before O'Keefe stole second base, tying the school record with his 50th career stolen base.
To start the top of the second inning, sophomore shortstop Danny Collins would reach on a Moravian fielding error. After a fielder's choice and a ground out, freshman catcher Jacob Wood connected on an RBI single to right field that scored freshman outfielder Cameron Stadele to give USMMA a 2-0 lead.
Senior designated hitter Austin Rock drew a one-out walk for the Greyhounds in the bottom half of the second, but the Mariners would not allow another runner in the inning.
Moravian would get a run in the bottom of the third inning to cut the Mariners' advantage in half to 2-1. Sophomore outfielder Joseph Connell led off with a double down the left field line, and he moved to third on a line out to right field by senior shortstop Dave Zubia. Seitzinger then hit an RBI single through the left side of the infield to score Connell. The Mariners would turn a double play to get out of the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Greyhounds pushed four runs across the plate to take a 5-2 lead. Freshman outfielder Matt Hanson reached on an error with one out and stole second base. Rock would then reach on an error that allowedHanson to score and tie the game at 2-2. After a ground out, senior catcherBlake Shortall hit an RBI single off of a diving shortstop in the hole to allow Rock to score and put Moravian in front, 3-2. Connell then connected on an RBI double to right center field scoring Shortall from first base. Zubia followed with an infield single to shortstop, and a throwing error would chase Connell across the plate before USMMA would get out of the inning.
Wood singled with one out in the top of the fifth for the Mariners but a double play from Moravian ended the inning.
The Mariners would get a run back in the top of the sixth inning. Junior first baseman Dustin Thomsen singled to left field with two outs, and sophomore pinch hitter John Martin followed with an RBI double to the fence in left center. Collins would single up the middle but Martin was thrown out at the plate by Connellto end the inning and keep Moravian ahead, 5-3.
The Greyhounds would get the run back and more in the bottom half of the sixth. Rock led off with a single to right center, and sophomore outfielder Harrison Fonteix followed with a bunt single down the first base line. Shortall put down a sacrifice bunt but the throw sailed into right field, allowing Rock and Fonteix to score. Connell followed with a double to left field to put runners at second and third with no outs. USMMA worked out of the jam without another run scoring as Moravian headed to the seventh inning with a 7-3 advantage.
In the top of the eighth for the Mariners, sophomore second baseman Warren Hartmann singled with two outs but freshman pitcher Chris Lansberry earned a strikeout for the final out of the inning.
Moravian added three runs in the bottom of the eighth to take a 10-3 lead. Rock drew a walk to lead off the inning. After a fly out, Shortall ripped an RBI double to the gap in right center to score Rock, and Connell connected on an RBI triple to almost the exact same spot off of the glove of a sliding center fielder to bringShortall home. Zubia connected on an RBI single through the right side of a drawn up infield to chase Connell across the plate. Seitzinger would hit into a fielder's choice before O'Keefe singled to left field before USMMA could get out of the inning.
Martin led off the top of the ninth inning with a single to left center for the Mariners, and freshman outfielder/pitcher Cameron Stadele singled through the left side with one out. Lansberry would start a double play to end the game and send Moravian to the championship round for the second time in three seasons.
Moravian finished the game with a 14-9 advantage in hits with Connell going four-for-four with three runs and two RBIs. Shortall was two-for-three with a pair of RBIs while Zubia and Seitzinger were both two-for-five. Wood was two-for-three to lead the Mariners at the plate while Martin went two-for-four.
Lansberry improved to 8-1 on the mound with the complete game victory. He allowed three runs, two earned, on nine hits to go with three strikeouts.
Freshman Keil Silva took the loss for USMMA, allowing five runs, just one earned, on six hits and two walks to go with a strikeout in 3.2 innings. Junior Chris O'Donnell gave up two runs on four hits in 3.2 innings while Stadele allowed three runs on four hits and a walk in an inning.
Story provided by Moravian Sports Information