WASHINGTON, D.C. – The University of Scranton scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to rally for a 7-6 victory at Catholic on Sunday afternoon as the Royals took two out of three games from the defending conference champion Cardinals on the road this weekend.
Scranton, now winners of six of its last seven games improves to 9-8 on the season, moving above .500 for the first time this spring. The Royals also lifted their conference record to 6-2 while dropping Catholic to 10-10 (3-6 Landmark) on the season.
Scranton took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third in Sunday's rubber game in the nation's capital as an error by the Cardinals allowed two runs to come in, but Catholic answered with three runs in the home half of the inning to take a 3-2 lead.
A two-run double in the bottom of the fourth pushed the Cardinals lead to 5-2, but a two-run home run from freshman Chris Wagner (Westfield, N.J./Westfield) in the visitor's sixth cut the Royals deficit to 5-4.
Catholic pushed its lead to two runs, 6-4, on an RBI double in the bottom of the seventh.
Trailing by two runs and down to their final at-bats, Scranton started its comeback with junior Tim Gailor (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) coming home on another error by the Cardinals before tying the game at 6-6 as a sacrifice fly from senior Ian McIntosh (Newtown, Pa./LaSalle College H.S.) brought home sophomore Connor Harding (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal) with the tying run.
With two outs and the bases loaded, junior Matt Fisch (Spring Brook Township, Pa./North Pocono) delivered a clutch base hit to right field that scored classmate Brandon Peters (Peckville, Pa./Valley View) with the run that would stand as the game-winner.
After Catholic's leadoff hitter in the bottom of the ninth reached on an error, freshman Josh Lydon (Shavertown, Pa./Dallas) closed out the win by getting outs on the next three batters to notch his second save of the season.
Freshman Ryan Heiser (New Milford, N.J./Saint Joseph Regional) collected his first collegiate win on the mound after pitching a scoreless eighth inning with one strikeout.
Harding and Wagner had two hits apiece to lead Scranton at the plate with Harding scoring twice and Wagner adding a pair of RBI. McIntosh drove in a game-high three runs for the Royals in the win.
Junior starter Bobby Hegarty (Wantagh, N.Y/Wantagh) took a no-decision after tossing five innings and yielding four earned runs on six hits while striking out a pair of batters. Sophomore Matt Morrow (Bethlehem, Pa./Bethlehem Catholic) was charged with one run on one hit while fanning four batters in a pair of innings in relief of Hegarty.
Scranton returns home on Tuesday for a non-conference game against King's starting at 5 p.m. at Volpe Field.