CUA explodes for 21 runs in series opening win over Crusaders

CUA explodes for 21 runs in series opening win over Crusaders

SELINSGROVE, Pa. – CUA upped its Landmark Conference winning streak to seven on Friday with a 21-4 thrashing of Susquehanna.  The Cardinals pounded out 23 hits, led by Matt Grieb's four and Mark Kalokitis' three, while Andrew Carroll threw six strong innings on the mound to earn his sixth win of 2012.

CUA struck first with a pair of runs in the opening inning.  Tommy Little was hit by a pitch and then moved down to second on Tim Mierzwa's single.

After Grieb was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Colin McCarthy, who entered the game ranked 11th in America in batting average, stroked a two-run single to left to give the Cardinals an early lead.

Susquehanna came back with a single run in the bottom of the frame when Nick Kennedy crossed on a CUA error.

CUA went back in front by two when Dave Grear drove home Brendan Breslin with a single to left in the second.

The lead reached four in the third when Grieb came home on a Crusaders error and Breslin's sac fly plated Marc Hanna to make it 5-1.

The Cardinals then broke things wide open with an eight-run fourth inning.  Dan Hinchcliff led the inning off with a strikeout, but he reached first when the ball got past the Susquehanna catcher.

Following a stolen base by Hinchcliff, Little singled to right to put runners on the corners.  Mierzwa was then hit by a pitch, which loaded the bases.

A single by Grieb drove in Hinchcliff to make it 6-1 and McCarthy's sac fly plated Little to up the lead to six.

A two-run single by Kalokitis to center made it 9-1 CUA, and after Grear singled home Kalokitis, the Cardinals were in front by nine.

Hinchcliff put the finishing touches on the inning with a three-run homer, which brought home Grear and Breslin and made it 13-1.

After Mierzwa reached on an error with one out in the fifth, he came home on Grieb's single for CUA's 14th run of the afternoon.

The scoring continued in the sixth with an RBI single by Mierzwa and a grand slam by Grieb to make it 19-1.

Susquehanna scored its second run in the seventh, but CUA came right back with two more runs in the next inning.  Trevor Falk delivered the big blow, crushing a two-run homer to left that also plated Mike Gannon and completed the Cardinals scoring.

Carroll was the winning pitcher for CUA, after he went 6.1 innings, while Brian Wendig allowed seven runs on seven hits in 3.0 innings and suffered the loss for Susquehanna.

On Saturday, the Cardinals and Crusaders finish off their three-game set with a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m.