WASHINGTON – Trailing 5-4 and down to its final three outs, CUA rallied to score twice in the ninth and the Cardinals held on for a 6-5 win over Scranton to advance to the winner's bracket of the Landmark Conference Tournament on Saturday. Dan Sullivan had three hits for CUA, while Jack Mahoney earned the win on the mound and Adam Schroth picked up the save.
After CUA was retired in the first, Scranton scored three times to take an early 3-0 lead.
The score remained that way until the fourth when Marc Hanna singled home Matt Grieb to cut the Royals lead to 3-1.
Back-to-back doubles by LJ Travaglia and Sullivan in the fifth brought the Cardinals within one, but Scranton answered with two runs of its own in the bottom half to make it a 5-2 game.
The Cardinals came right back and scored twice in the sixth though, as they pulled to within 5-4. Travaglia singled in the first run with an infield hit and Sullivan's single to center plated Tim Mierzwa to make it a one-run contest.
With only three outs remaining CUA began its ninth inning rally with a lead off walk by Chris McCloud. Following a strike out, McCloud moved down to second on a passed ball, but Mark Kalokitis flew out to right field for the second out, and CUA was down to its final chance.
Brendan Breslin got on by way of an error, moving down to second on the throw while McCloud crossed home to tie the score at five. Another error by Scranton pushed Breslin across and gave the Cardinals their first lead of the afternoon.
Schroth then came in to work the ninth and after allowing a two-out single he got Scranton's final batter to bounce into a fielder's choice to end the game and send CUA to the winner's circle.
Mahoney worked 1.1 innings, struck out one and did not allow any hits or runs to earn the win on the mound for CUA. Andrew Caroll got the start and went 6.2 innings, striking out five and allowing five runs during that time.
John Rogers took the loss for the Royals after he surrendered two runs on one hit, while Rocky Sawyer started the game and pitched the first seven innings, striking out five during that time.
On Sunday CUA and Moravian will play at 12:30 p.m. with the winner advancing to Monday's championship round. The loser will play at 4 against the winner of the Scranton – Susquehanna contest.