Courtesy of Catholic Athletic Communications
Bel Air, Md. — The Catholic University of America baseball team played a back-and-forth opening NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional game against No. 23 Babson on Thursday at Harford Community College Sports Complex. The two teams traded the lead seven times in the final four frames but it was the Beavers who came out on top with a walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth.
The No. 7 regionally-ranked Cardinals gave the No. 2-seeded Babson Beavers all they could handle as the Cards overcame a 9-5 eighth-inning deficit to tie it up with four runs in the frame.
Babson went back ahead with a run in the bottom of the eighth but again Catholic rallied with two runs in a must-score situation. The Cardinals went into the final inning with the lead before the Beavers had the final rally, and the hammer, for the win.
The two teams combined for 23 runs and 33 hits with 16 runs coming in the final three frames.
Senior Brennan Cotter led all players with six RBI as he went 3-for-6 with a first-inning home run as he and classmate Jake Crist went back-to-back for blasts to start the game and set the tone.
Junior Bailey Lewis was also impressive as he was 4-for-6 and a triple shy of the cycle.
Junior starter Jon Mierzwa helped stymie a potent Babson offense for six innings as he scattered five hits and four runs while striking out six.
The two teams had to battle not only each other but the weather as heavy rains in the York, Pa., area forced officials to move two games from PEOPLESbank Park to Harford's turf field approximately an hour away.
Catholic is now scheduled to take on the No. 3-seeded Arcadia Knights in an elimination game tomorrow at 1:15 p.m., in York. With rains again expected over the next two days, be sure to check back on CatholicAthletics.com and follow @CatholicU_Cards on twitter for the latest updates.