KINGS POINT, N.Y. --- The Moravian College baseball team closed out its 2016 Landmark Conference and regular season with a 17-5 win at The United States Merchant Marine Academy Monday afternoon in a game shortened to eight innings by darkness as the Greyhounds clinched the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Landmark Conference Tournament.
The Hounds finish the 40-game schedule with a 21-19 mark, and Moravian was 14-7 in Landmark Conference action after winning its final six conference games. The Greyhounds are tied with Elizabethtown College in the conference standings but Moravian holds the tiebreaker after winning the head-to-head weekend on April 2-3.
This marks the second year of the Landmark Conference making its tournament two rounds of best-of-three series instead of a double elimination tournament, and it also marks the second consecutive year that Moravian has hosted Elizabethtown in the semifinal round. The Greyhounds won last year's series, 2-1.
In Monday's game at USMMA, Moravian pounded out 18 hits with freshman outfielder Austin Markowski going 3-for-5 with his team-leading sixth home run. Freshman outfielder Mike Mittl and senior third baseman Alex Bull were both 3-for-6 with Mittl scoring five times to tie the single game school record and Bull extending his hitting streak to 19 games and reaching base safely in all 40 regular season games. Sophomore designated hitter Logan Welles was 2-for-2 with two RBIs while senior outfielder Cameron Leon and junior second baseman Nicolas Ampietro were both 2-for-5 with Leon scoring three times and driving in two runs.
The Greyhounds used four pitchers in the game who recorded 17 of the game's 24 outs by strikeout to tie the single game record set in 1960 and tied in 2009. Senior Ian Carbone earned the victory to improve to 2-0 on the season. Carbone registered eight strikeouts for the second time this season, and he allowed a hit and a walk in three innings of relief action. Ampietro struck out four batters and walked one in two innings of action while sophomore Nicholas Mazzella recorded two strikeouts and a hit in one inning of action. Sophomore Dan Morrin made the start and had three strikeouts in two innings of action.
Moravian jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on an error and an RBI double by senior first baseman Charles Savite, the 42nd of his career to move into third in school history. The Blue and Grey pushed the lead to 5-0 with three runs in the top of the second inning on an RBI double by Ampietro, a passed ball and an error.
The Mariners answered with five runs in the home half of the second frame to tie the game at 5-5. The Greyhounds would retake the lead for good in the top of the third inning when senior catcher Mike Roethke had an RBI fielder's choice.
Moravian scored three times in the top of the fourth on an error, an RBI single from Bull and an RBI single by Welles, and the Greyhounds tacked on a run in the top of the sixth when Welles connected on an RBI double. The Hounds scored five times in the top of the seventh to push the lead to 15-5 as Markowski connected on an RBI single with a second run scoring on an error on the play. Leon picked up two RBIs in the inning while sophomore pinch hitter Joey Maker had an RBI ground out.
The Greyhounds finished off the scoring with two runs in the top of the eighth inning when Markowski connected on a two-run homer to left field, the team's 27th home run of the season, one shy of tying the school record.
Moravian will return to action on Saturday, May 7 when the squad hosts Elizabethtown in the Landmark Conference Semifinals at 11:00 a.m. at Gillespie Field in Bethlehem.