HOBOKEN, N.J. - The Catholic University baseball team swept the Stevens Institute Ducks in a nonconference doubleheader on Friday, extending the team's winning streak to 12 games. The Cardinals (22-10) defeated Stevens 5-2 and 8-7 at Dobbelaar Field.
Senior ace Jon Mierzwa led the visitors on the mound in game one with a complete game winning performance. Junior Nolan Lundholm had a strong day at the plate with three hits and three RBIs, including a big three-run homerun in game one to break a 2-2 tie. Junior Ross Dean earned the win on the mound in game two with 5.1 innings of work.
Game 1: Catholic 5 | Stevens 2
Catholic got on the board without a hit in the first inning of the doubleheader after leadoff man Connor Sullivan was hit by a pitch. He advanced on a throwing error in the next at-bat, a ground out, and a wild pitch to bring him home for a 1-0.
After the Ducks tied the game with a solo homer, the Cardinals got it done with some small ball in the third. Senior Sean Dempsey led the inning with a bunt single, and then he advanced with a sacrifce bunt from Sullivan. Senior Ryan Tracy delivered an RBI single to left center to put Catholic back on top 2-1.
Stevens equalized via the long ball once again to make the game 2-2 in the fourth, where the stalemate would last another inning. The Cardinals were in business right away in the sixth after Tracy and Bailey Lewis walked to lead off the inning. Then Lundholm stepped up to the plate and hit a three-run bomb to center field to make the game 5-2. His second homer of the season gave him a team-leading 32 RBIs and proved to be the difference in the contest.
Mierzwa went the distance in another dominant outing to become 6-0 on the year. The senior right hander gave up just three hits in seven innings and struck out ten batters. The ten strikeout performance matches a season high total after fanning ten hitters on March 24 against conference foe Susquehanna. He currently leads the Landmark Conference in wins (6) and strikeouts (58).
Game 2: Catholic 8 | Stevens 7
Catholic's hitting stayed hot in game two as the visitors scored in each of the game's first six innings. Lunhdolm and Jeff Guile led with two hits apiece.
Lewis, Kendric Musser, Michael Doody, and Sullivan all delivered an RBI in the first four innings. Stevens kept pace with two runs in the first and second frame to have the game tied 4-4 after four innings.
The Cardinals made their move in the fifth inning as Lundholm and Lewis started the inning with singles. Lewis scored on a wild pitch, and then Lundholm came home off a sacrifice fly from sophomore Tighe Watson. Then Guile doubled to left center to score another run and put Catholic up 7-4.
In the sixth, Tracy reached base with a bunt single. After advancing on a walk and a wild pitch, he later came home on a throwing error. The insurance run proved crucial, as the Ducks responded with three runs in the bottom half of the inning to make the game 8-7. Neither team scored in the game's final three innings and Catholic secured the win.
Dean battled through 5.1 innings to earn his fifth win of the season. Junior Jack Ropelewski pitched 1.2 innings in relief as one of four relievers in the nine-inning contest. Lundholm came in to face two batters in the ninth and closed the door for his first save of the season.
Off for the Easter weekend, the team is back in action on Monday, April 22 for a road game against Stevenson. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.