MADISON, N.J. - The Catholic University baseball team could not complete the Landmark series sweep over Drew on Sunday afternoon at Doc Young Field as the Rangers rallied to score seven runs in the bottom of the ninth inning and snatch a walk-off win. A fantastic outing from starting pitcher David Gately was spoiled as the Cardinals dropped their final regular season conference game.
The Cardinals (26-12, 11-7 LC) had 12 hits on Sunday to total 30 in the three-game series and made no errors in the field in the loss. Senior Bailey Lewis led the Catholic offense with a 3-5 effort at the plate and an RBI.
Drew (19-15, 7-8 LC) got on the board in the first inning to take an early lead. After two walks and a wild pitch, Gately minimized the damage and got out of the inning after just one Drew run. The senior settled down after the first and shut down the Rangers for the following seven frames.
Catholic took the lead in the fourth inning on four hits and two runs. Lewis led off with his second hit of the afternoon and came around to score after Michael Doody singled to left field and tie the game. Christian Jones got on with a bunt single and Kendric Musser singled up the middle to load the bases for Tighe Watson, who got the job done with an RBI sacrifice fly to center field.
Another four-hit inning in the seventh extended the visitors lead to 6-1. Musser led off with a hit and Watson walked before senior Sean Dempsey pushed both runners over with a sacrifice bunt. After a ground out, senior Ryan Tracy delivered a two-out 2-RBI single to left field. Then Lewis stepped up and doubled to the gap in right center to score Tracy before junior Nolan Lundholm singled for another run.
Lewis' three hits marked his 20th multi-hit game of the season. The senior from Matthews, N.C. now leads the Landmark Conference with 35 RBIs and is tied for second with 54 hits.
The Cardinals tacked on one additional run in the eighth inning. Jones tripled and soon scored on a wild pitch to put Catholic up 7-1. Gately retired the side in order in the bottom half with three fly outs.
Unfortunately in the ninth, the Rangers strung together six hits to score seven runs to erase the 7-1 deficit and steal a walk-off win. Senior reliever Colin Cunningham got into trouble quickly and sophomore Ethan Risse couldn't close the door after striking out one for a second out. A two-run single completed the rally as Drew avoided the series sweep at home.
Gately had arguably his best performance of the season in a no-decision effort against the Rangers. The right-hander cruised through eight innings on 97 pitches, giving up one earned run on three hits and striking out eight batters. In his last three Landmark outings, Gately has tossed 22.0 innings and given up just six earned runs while striking out 19.
The weekend's results saw the Cardinals finish as the third seed in the Landmark standings with an 11-7 conference record. After Moravian swept top-seeded Juniata over the weekend, the Greyhounds moved into second in the standings. Catholic will square off against Moravian in the first round of the conference tournament on Friday, May 10 at Charles J. Volpe Family Field in Scranton, Pa.
Catholic has one more game before the Landmark Conference tournament begins on Friday, May 10. The Cardinals travel to take on local foe Marymount (Va.) on Wednesday, May 1 for a 1 p.m. contest.