MADISON, N.J. - The Catholic University baseball team earned two important Landmark victories over the Drew Rangers Saturday afternoon at Doc Young Field. The Cardinals defeated Drew 4-0 in game one behind another impressive outing on the mound from senior ace Jon Mierzwa, and the shutdown pitching continued in game two as Catholic came out on top 3-2.
Four Cardinal pitchers combined to give up just 11 hits in the two contests in the Saturday sweep. Senior Bailey Lewis led Cathoic with three hits and three RBIs.
Game 1: Catholic 4 | Drew 0
The Cardinals (26-11, 11-6 LC) tallied 12 total hits as seven of nine in the starting lineup had at least one base knock, but the visitors stranded 10 runners on base to keep the score close. Four runs proved to be plenty as the Rangers (18-15, 6-8 LC) failed to score in the seven inning contest. The game remained scoreless after four innings.
Catholic struck first in the top of the fifth to take the lead off an RBI single from Lewis. Fellow senior Sean Dempsey led off the inning with a bunt single, and then advanced to second on a throwing error. With two outs, Lewis delivered the clutch hit to right center and bring home Dempsey.
The Cardinals added a run the next inning with another two-out rally. After two quick outs, three straight singles made the score 2-0 in the sixth. Junior Cid Porter and sophomore Tighe Watson singled to put runners on first and second, and then Dempsey singled to left field to score Porter.
Catholic got a couple additional insurance runs in the seventh and continued the theme of two-out hitting. Porter singled up the middle to score Michael Doody and Nolan Lundholm and put the Cardinals up 4-0.
Mierzwa stepped up once again to earn Catholic a Landmark series-opening win, and his seventh overall on the year. The senior from Laurel, Md. did not allow a run in six innings of work, striking out seven and scattering five hits. In his last three conference outings, Mierzwa has given up just two earned runs in 19 innings with 21 strikeouts. He currently leads the Landmark Conference with seven wins and 65 strikeouts this season.
Fellow senior pitcher Collin Brown came on for the final inning and retired the side in order to seal the 4-0 victory.
Game 2: Catholic 3 | Drew 2
Catholic got on the board in the top of the first inning with an unearned run. Leadoff man Connor Sullivan reached on an infield single to third base and advanced to second on a throwing error. After senior Ryan Tracy moved Sullivan over with a groundout to the right side, Lewis grounded out to second to bring home the first run of the contest.
The Rangers took their first lead of the series in the bottom of the third to go up 2-1. A solo homerun tied the game and Drew scored a second with an RBI single after a couple walks and wild pitches. That turned out to be the only inning the hosts scored all day, however, as Dean regained composure and made it through the fifth inning.
The Cardinals responded to tie the game at 2-2 in the next inning. After a strikeout, sophomore Kendric Musser was hit by a pitch and Sullivan then walked in the top half of the fourth. Tracy singled to right field to load the bases with one out. Lewis walked to bring in a run and tie the game, but Catholic left three on base.
The winning run came thanks to an RBI single from Doody, who drove home Lewis in the top of the seventh. The Cardinals held on to the 3-2 advantage for a second win.
Dean went five innings to give his team a chance to win in the game. A two-run third inning was the only blemish as the junior gave up four hits and struck out four batters. An impressive relief performance from Moore kept the Rangers at bay. Moore earned his third win of the season after giving up just two hits and no runs in four innings of work, tying his longest outing of the season.
The Cardinals wrap up the three-game series tomorrow against the Rangers. The updated first pitch time is set for 1 p.m.