SCRANTON, Pa. - The Catholic University baseball team fell to Moravian 3-1 Saturday night at Volpe Field to end its Landmark Conference title defense.
The Cardinals (27-16) could not get it going offensively as Moravian starter Eddie Olsen pitched a complete game gem for the second-seeded Greyhounds. Catholic hit 1-8 with runners in scoring position to muster one run. Junior Jack Ropelewski gave the visitors a solid effort in relief to keep the game close.
The Greyhounds got on the board in the first inning after Catholic starter Ross Dean walked the first three batters he faced. A sacrifice fly put Moravian up 1-0. Kendric Musser, Ryan Tracy, and Nolan Lundholm went 5-4-3 for a big double play to minimize the damage and end the inning.
The Greyhounds added to their lead after the bases were walked loaded once again in the second. Moravian led 3-0 with no hits after two innings.
Catholic threatened in the top of the third after Musser doubled down the left field line and Tighe Watson singled to center, but a double play ended the inning stranding runners on the corners.
The Cardinals cut into the deficit in the top of the sixth inning for their first run of the contest. After two quick outs, senior Bailey Lewis singled to right center, and then Lundholm hit a laser to right field that got by the outfielder for an RBI triple.
A one out single from Michael Doody gave Catholic a chance in the top of the ninth down 3-1. Junior Jeff Guile walked to put runners at first and second base with two outs, but pinch hitter Tyler Shaffer flew out to center to end the game.
Dean was relieved after two innings of work, six walks, and a hit batter. Fellow junior Ropelewski came in for long relief in the third frame. Ropelewski went 5.1 innings, giving up no runs on three hits and striking out four batters to keep Catholic in the game.
Sophomore Ethan Risse relieved Ropelewski to finish out the eighth frame.
The loss ends Catholic's 27 win season after a 2018 conference championship victory. Moravian will take on first-seeded Susquehanna in the championship game tomorrow morning.