CUA can't hold early lead, falls to Neumann in opener

CUA can't hold early lead, falls to Neumann in opener

WASHINGTON – The CUA baseball team was upended by Neumann 13-9 in the 2011 season opener on Saturday at Talbot Field.  The Cardinals were ultimately done in by an eight-run fifth inning by the Knights.  Saturday's game was played under tough conditions with winds gusting up to 50 MPH on CUA's campus.

Neumann opened the scoring with one run in the top of the second, but CUA came back to take the lead with three runs in its half of the inning.  The big blow came when Tim Mierzwa reached on an error that brought home Chris McCloud and Tommy Bowles.

CUA upped its lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the third with three more runs.  Dave Grear walked with one out and eventually came home on a wild pitch to make it a 4-1 game.  McCloud's single then brought home Trevor Falk and Matt Grieb's single plated Bowles.

The score remained 6-1 until Neumann's half of the fifth when the Knights scored eight runs on seven hits to go in front 9-6.  Neumann batted around in the inning and Kevin Hopkins, Mathieu Vallieres, Kevin Flanigan, Michael Tomeo, Bobby Callan, and Matt Grossi each drove in at least one run.

The Cardinals pulled to within 9-8 in the sixth when Hanna came around on an error and Grear later scored on another Neumann fielding miscue.  The Knights got back one of the runs in the next half inning as Tomeo scored on a wild pitch to make the score 10-8.

Neumann then went up 13-8 in the eighth as Bill Pace doubled in a pair of runs and Tomeo singled in a run to give the Knights a five-run cushion. 

CUA got one of the runs back in its half of the eighth when Grear crossed on a wild pitch, and the Cardinals were within four, 13-9.

The Cardinals had one final chance to pull even, but they were unable to capitalize on a bases loaded and no one out situation as three straight CUA hitters were retired to end the game.

Andrew Carroll took the loss for CUA after surrendering three runs in two-thirds of an inning.  Hanna threw a scoreless inning of relief for the Cardinals, while Alec Fenstermacher did not surrender any runs in 1.1 innings of work.

Grieb, Hanna and McCloud each had two hits on the day for the Cardinals with Mierzwa and McCloud registering a pair of RBI.

Neumann was led on offense by Tomeo, who had three of the Knights 15 hits, and three of the team's 12 runs batted in.  Neumann did commit seven errors on the afternoon, while CUA had just two.

CUA continues with its five-game homestand to begin the 2011 season on Wednesday afternoon when the Cardinals play host to Christopher Newport at Talbot Field.  First pitch is set for 2:30 p.m.