SCRANTON, Pa. --- The fourth seed Moravian College baseball team came back from three one-run deficits before falling to top seed The Catholic University of America, 5-4, in the opening game of the 2018 Landmark Conference Tournament being hosted by The University of Scranton Friday afternoon at Charles E. Volpe Family Field.
The Greyhounds will play in the first elimination game of the tournament on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. against either second seed Elizabethtown College, which fell to the third seeded Royals, 9-4, in Friday's other first round game.
"It was a good game. We played hard, and we played the right way," stated Head Coach Paul Engelhardt. "We didn't make too many mistakes but the one or two that we actually did have in a tight game like that are the difference in being tied or up one. The team played the right kind of baseball in the playoffs."
Moravian had seven hits in the game with junior catcher Chase Rogers and sophomore right fielder Carmine Palummo both going 2-for-4 with Rogers scoring twice. Junior left fielder Mike Mittl had two RBIs in the game.
Senior Nicholas Mazzella made the start on the mound and allowed four runs on nine hits and four walks in 6.2 innings, and Mazzella recorded four strikeouts to become the 18th pitcher in school history to record 100 career strikeouts, now with a total of 101. Junior Tyler Caraway tossed the final 1.1 innings with a run on three hits.
Catholic jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a run in the bottom of the second inning.
The Greyhounds answered with two runs in the top of the fourth inning. Sophomore second baseman Ian Csencsits led off with a single and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by junior third baseman Evan Kulig. Junior center fielder Austin Markowski drew a walk and a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third for a two-out, two-RBI single by Mittl.
The Cardinals retook the lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth frame.
Moravian knotted the score at 3-3 with a run in the fifth inning. Rogers led off with a double and scored on an RBI single by Palummo.
Catholic moved ahead 4-3 with a run in the top of the sixth inning.
The Blue and Grey tied the game once again in the top of the seventh frame with a run. Rogers led off the inning with a single and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by freshman shortstop Michael Miceli. Palummo singled through the right side to put Rogers on third before Csencsits connected on an RBI sacrifice fly.
The Cardinals scored in the bottom of the eighth for a 5-4 lead.
Moravian had the tying run 90 feet away in the top of the ninth inning when senior pinch runner La-Ron Smith stole second and moved to third. However, the Greyhounds were unable to get the runner home.