SWARTHMORE, Pa. - The Catholic University baseball team dropped another contest in extra innings Saturday afternoon, falling to Swarthmore 3-2 in 11 innings. The Cardinals sent the game into extras with a game-tying run in the ninth inning, but could not come out on top in their final game of the regular season.
Catholic (26-14) scored in the game's first inning to take an early lead. Leadoff junior Connor Sullivan doubled down the left field line and was brought home by senior Bailey Lewis in an RBI single to center. The lead did not last, however, as the Garnet (24-12) scored two runs on three hits in the bottom of the first to go up 2-1.
The scoring stopped for a majority of the contest after the first, as neither team pushed a run across the plate until the ninth inning. Catholic had 12 hits but stranded 12 runners on base as well. Sullivan, Lewis, and sophomore Tighe Watson led Catholic with two hits apiece. Lewis' two hits marked his 22nd multi-hit game of the season.
Down to their last at-bats, Catholic scored the tying run in the ninth off a fielder's choice RBI by Lewis. After Sullivan got on with an error, senior Ryan Tracy singled to right field to get Sullivan to third base before the RBI groundout.
Swarthmore scored the winning run in the 11th to walk it off. With runners on second and third and one out, Swarthmore dribbled a grounder to the shortstop Watson, who fired home, but the runner beat the tag to score the game-winning run.
Catholic pitched their three best starters to give each some innings before next weekend's conference playoffs. Senior Jon Mierzwa got the start, throwing three innings, giving up two runs and striking out two batters. Junior Ross Dean followed for three innings of work as well. He gave up just one hit, added two strikeouts, and allowed no runs. Senior David Gately pitched the remaining 4.1 innings of the ballgame, striking out three before Swarthmore broke the tie to end the game with a run in the 11th.
Next up for Catholic is the Landmark Conference tournament beginning Friday, May 10. The Cardinals will feature as the third seed of the four team double-elimination playoff to be played in Scranton, Pa. Catholic takes on Moravian at 7 p.m. on Friday. Last year, the first-seeded Catholic came out of the loser's bracket to knock off Scranton twice and win its fifth conference championship.