WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Catholic University baseball team came out on the wrong end of a 12-inning contest on Saturday evening at Nationals Youth Academy in a 5-4 defeat to open a Landmark weekend series against Susquehanna.
After trailing for most of the game, the Cardinals (9-5, 2-2 LC) could not hold on for the win after a four-run eighth inning rally. The River Hawks (3-7, 2-1 LC) sent the game to extras with a run in the top of the ninth and a solo homerun in the 12th frame was the difference under the lights at Nats Academy.
Catholic trailed for most of the game in a pitching duel between the two starters. Down 3-0 heading into the eighth inning, seniors Ryan Tracy and Bailey Lewis got the rally started to get the Cardinals into the game. The team's two leading hitters got on with a single and double, respectively, and the bases were soon loaded after a Nolan Lundholm walk. Tracy and Lewis have 35 hits between the two of them in 14 games this season.
Still with no runs across and two outs, designated hitter Will Pyne did the job and got on base with a walk to score Tracy. Junior Cid Porter then made the most of his opportunity and delivered a 2-run single to level the score at 3-3. Pinch runner Cole Campbell later scored on a wild pitch to give Catholic a lead in the bottom of the eighth.
The River Hawks answered promptly in their final at-bat in the top of the ninth to equalize at 4-4, and then both squads went deep into their bullpens during the game that lasted almost four and a half hours. Susquehanna broke the deadlock in the 12th with a solo homer to get its second conference win of the year.
Starting pitcher Ross Dean kept his team in the game with a five inning effort in which he surrendered just one hit. A shaky fourth inning allowed Susquehanna to score two runs, but Dean pitched three strikeouts before junior Eric Moore replaced him in the sixth. Senior Colin Cunningham pitched the final three frames and struck out two before the River Hawks' tiebreaking homerun in the 12th.
Catholic returns home to Robert J. Talbot Field to complete the series with a Sunday doubleheader. The first game against Susquehanna is set to start at 1 p.m.