PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. --- The Moravian College baseball team dropped a pair of games at the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte, Florida on Monday, falling to Bluffton (Ohio) University, 11-9, in the first game of the day and dropping an 11-6 decision to Otterbein (Ohio) University under the lights.
In the opener against Bluffton, the Greyhounds had 14 hits with junior left fielder Mike Mittl going 4-for-5 with an RBI and freshman shortstop Michael Miceli posting a 3-for-5 game with a pair of runs. Junior second baseman Tim Heard was 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs while Junior center fielder Austin Markowski went 2-for-6 with two runs scored.
Moravian used four pitchers in the game with senior Dan Morrin starting the contest with three runs, two earned, on four walks and eight strikeouts in four -plus innings of action. Junior Tyler Caraway tossed one-plus inning with three runs, two earned, on three hits and a strikeout while freshman Rodney Berger took the loss with three unearned runs on two hits and a strikeout in 1.2 innings of action. Junior third baseman Evan Kulig tossed the final 1.1 innings with two unearned runs on three hits to go with a pair of strikeouts.
Bluffton opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the third inning.
The Blue and Grey took a 6-1 lead with six runs in the top of the fifth frame. Miceli singled with one out, and Kulig would single with two outs. Senior designated hitter Clay Weidemoyer reached on an error as Miceli scored and Heard followed with an RBI single to plate Kulig. Senior first baseman Joey Maker connected on an RBI single as Weidemoyer crossed the plate, and Mittl followed with an RBI double as Heard raced home. Junior catcher Andrew Koenig finished off the inning when he reached on an error that allowed both Mittl and Maker to cross the plate.
Bluffton answered with two runs in the bottom of the fifth to cut the Moravian lead to 6-3, but the Greyhounds would get a run in the top of the sixth for a 7-3 advantage. Markowski led off with a single and scored on a two-out RBI triple by Heard.
The Beavers pulled within a run at 7-6 with three runs in the bottom of the sixth, and Bluffton scored four unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh to take a 10-7 lead.
The Hounds cut the deficit to a run, 10-9, with two tallies in the top of the eighth inning. Miceli was hit by a pitch to start the inning, and Markowski followed with an RBI triple. Kulig would hit an RBI ground out to score Markowski.
Bluffton added one more run in the bottom of the ninth to finish off the scoring.
In the second game, Otterbein jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. However, Moravian scored twice in the bottom of the frame to take a 2-1 lead. Senior first baseman Logan Welles had a bunt single and sophomore second baseman Ian Csencsits reached on a fielder's choice. After freshman left fielder Thomas Philipps walked to load the bases, sophomore right fielder Carmine Palummo connected on a two-out, two-RBI single to score Welles and Csencsits.
The Greyhounds, who had five hits in the contest, added a run in the bottom of the third to extend the advantage to 3-1. Markowski singled with two outs and moved into scoring position when Welles drew a walk. Csencsits followed with an RBI single.
Otterbein answered with five runs in the top of the fourth to build a 6-3 lead. The Hounds would get a run back in bottom half of the fourth to cut the deficit to 6-4. Junior catcher Chase Rogers drew a leadoff walk that was followed by a single from Philipps and a walk by Palummo to load the bases. Rogers would cross the plate on a double play.
Otterbein would extend its advantage to 9-4 with three runs in the top of the sixth frame, and the Cardinals scored twice more in the top of the eighth for an 11-4 edge.
Moravian scored twice in the bottom of the eighth inning to cut the deficit to 11-6. Junior pinch hitter Matt Stalter was hit by a pitch and Markowski reached on an error. Csencsits connected on a sacrifice fly to score Stalter while Markowski raced home when junior catcher Steve Lazicki reached on another error.
Senior Nicholas Mazzella made the start on the mound against Otterbein, and he allowed seven runs on 11 hits and five walks to go with four strikeouts in five-plus innings as he suffered his first loss of the season. Sophomore Connor Morro tossed the final four innings with four runs on five hits and four walks to go with four strikeouts.
The Greyhounds are scheduled to continue their trip to the Snowbird Classic on Tuesday, March 6 in a non-conference game versus Heidelberg (Ohio) University beginning at 1:00 p.m. at North Charlotte Regional Park.