Cards Lose First Landmark Conference Series, Remain Two Games Up in League Play

Cards Lose First Landmark Conference Series, Remain Two Games Up in League Play

Cards Lose First Conference Series, Remain Two Games Up in League Play

(April 18, 2010) – The three-game series between Catholic University and Susquehanna University was characterized by stellar starting pitching.

The bad news for the Cardinals was that two of those performances came from their opponents.

Brian Wendig pitched the latest gem for the Crusaders, taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning before going the distance in an 8-3 victory. It was the Cards’ first Landmark Conference series loss of 2010.

The Redbirds, who won game one on Andrew Moldawer’s seven-inning shutout, combined for just nine hits in the final two outings to fall to 17-9 and 10-2 in the Landmark. Despite their first league defeats this season, CUA remains in first place, two games ahead of Moravian College and the University of Scranton. Susquehanna (14-15) is tied for third with Juniata College at 7-5.

The Cardinals host a three-game set against Scranton next weekend and finish the regular season at Moravian May 1-2. The four-team Landmark Conference Tournament is May 7-9 at the site of the top seed. The Cards won the past two double-elimination league tournaments on the road. This year’s champion earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship.

Playing at Bollinger Field in Selinsgrove, Pa., on Sunday, the Cardinals scored an unearned run in the first and the third but fell behind, 7-2, after four innings. Wendig (1-1), who struck out five and walked three, retired the first two batters in the eighth before right fielder Tommy Bowles singled. First baseman Dave Grear followed with a double for CUA’s only RBI.

Ethan Rieker paced the Crusaders with three of their 13 hits. Chris Price, Ryan Portzline and Ryan Crofts produced two hits apiece. Wendig, a freshman left-hander, allowed a pinch single to Mark Kalokitis to open the ninth and a two-out base hit to pinch hitter Nick Novy. Center fielder Tommy Little flew out to right field to end the game.

Jack Mahoney allowed eight hits and four earned runs for the Cards and fell to 1-3.

Keith Needham preceded Wendig’s performance with a five-hitter Saturday in SU’s 6-3 triumph.

The Cardinals complete their six-game road swing Tuesday at the University of Mary Washington (3:30 p.m.) and Wednesday at Gettysburg College (4 p.m.).