WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Stevenson baseball team wrapped up their regular season and kept their postseason aspirations alive on Sunday afternoon getting a complete game effort out of junior starting pitcher James Wiercinski to defeat non-conference opponent Catholic University by a final of 8-2 at Talbot Field in a game that was added to schedule earlier this week.
Stevenson (20-20) was led by seniors John D'Aquanno, Jake Dimon, and Billy Small who combined to go 7-13 with seven runs batted in, four runs scored, and two doubles. Junior Matthew Kerber chipped in a base hit and scored once. Sophomores Alex Kidwiler and Kevin Murray Jr. joined together for two hits, one run scored, and drew three walks.
With the game scoreless going to the top of the second the Mustangs were put away in order by Catholic (27-12) starter David Gately. In the home-half of the frame, the Cardinals took the lead against Wiercinski with a leadoff home run off the bat of Bailey Lewis. He recovered nicely after giving up the run retiring Michael Doody, Ryan Tracy, and Connor Cozad in order to allow no more damage. Gately continued cruising through the Green and White hitters getting a pair of groundouts and a strikeout in the third. Wiercinski was in a tight spot in the bottom-half with men at first and second with two away but got Jake Crist to ground one back to the mound to end the threat.
Both teams got on the scoreboard in the following frame. With one gone D'Aquanno reached on an infield single to third. The next man up was Small who ripped a double to center-field allowing the runner to race home all the way from first knotting the game at 1-1. Kidwiler picked up a base hit to put men on the corners for Dimon. He unfortunately grounded into a double play (4-6-3) to end the rally. Lewis began the last of the fourth with an infield hit before Doody and Tracy were set down leaving a runner at second with two away. That brought Cozad to the dish and he helped the hosts retake the lead with an RBI single. Wiercinski got a swinging strikeout from Christian Jones to end the inning keeping the score 2-1.
After a scoreless fifth Stevenson went back to work in the top of the sixth against reliever Ethan Risse. Murray opened things up with a knock to left and then stole second base. D'Aquanno then delivered a game-tying hit with an RBI single up the middle. The Mustangs then took their first lead of the day with a two-bagger to left from Small scoring D'Aquanno. Rise then unleashed a wild pitch which allowed Small to move up 90-feet to third. Kidwiler drew a free pass from Risse to put men on the corners still with no one out. That was the end of the day for Risse as Sean Carroll was summoned from the bullpen to face Dimon. He ripped one down the right field line plating Small and advancing Kidwiler to third. Junior Jordan Moore was next. He skied one out to left that was caught by Doody. On the play, Kidwiler tagged up at third and sprinted towards home but the throw from Doody was right on the bag and allowed the catcher Danny O'Hagan to slap the tag down for out two. Senior Michael Kelly flew out to stop the rally at 4-2. Wiercinski allowed a one-out base runner but Tracy and Cozad were set down to end the inning. Heading to the seventh the Green and White now faced Eric Moore on the hill. Senior Michael Rhodes and Kerber both reached safely to begin the frame an error then committed by O'Hagan let both runners advance a base. Then with one gone D'Aquanno was intentionally walked to load the bases. That ended the afternoon for Moore as Nolan Lundholm became the second pitcher of the inning. With Small at,-bat Lundholm was called for a balk moving everyone 90-feet including allowing Rhodes to score. Small then came up with a sacrifice fly to plate Kerber. Dimon delivered the final RBI of the frame with a knock to center scoring D'Aquanno to make it 7-2. Stevenson added one more in the top of the eighth on a single to left by D'Aquanno driving home Rhodes who reached on a fielder's choice. Wiercinski gave up a two-out base hit to Lewis but got Doody to strikeout to retire the side. Both teams went in order in the ninth as a groundout by Cid Porter ended the game at 8-2.
Stevenson starter Wiercinski (4-6) earned the win going the distance giving up two runs on eight hits while striking out five batters.
The Mustangs now wait to see if they will earn a spot in the ECAC baseball tournament which will be announced this week.