FORT MYERS, FLA.--(3/4/12)--Junior Tyler Babkiewich's three-run triple highlighted a six run explosion in the seventh and final inning of the opener as Coast Guard split with rival Merchant Marine winning the opener 8-5 before falling 9-8 in the nightcap at the Gene Cusic Classic.
Merchant Marine led 5-2 going to the seventh inning of the opener. Junior Joe Petry delivered an RBI single and classmate Cameron Carroll, who earlier walked scored on a wild pitch to cut the deficit to 5-4. With the bases loaded two outs and two strikes, Babkiewich tripled to right field to clear the bases and give Coast Guard a 7-5 lead. Junior Nolan Gallagher's RBI single scored Babkiewich with an insurance run.
Junior Tyler Vieira, the Bears' all-time saves leader, came on in the bottom of the inning following a leadoff walk and allowed a double and struck out two for the save. Junior Curt Barrett, who came on for starter Derek Petty, got the final out of the bottom of the sixth with a strikeout and picked up the win.
Petty worked 5 2/3 innings and allowed nine hits and five runs, three earned while walking four.
Gallagher, senior Mike Salerno and juniors Eric Gerken and Joe Petry each had two hits in the game one win while Babkiewich drove in four runs in the opener.
In game two, Merchant Marine led 8-2 in the third inning and had to hold off a ferocious Coast Guard rally to salvage the split.
Junior Nate Toll started and lasted just two innings allowing eight hits and eight runs, five earned to take the loss. Barrett was brilliant in relief allowing just three hits and one run in five innings work with walking one and striking out four.
Barrett kept the Bears in the game and the offensive chipped away at the 8-2 deficit with two runs in the third and two more in the fourth on an RBI single by Gerken and a bases loaded walk to Babkiewich to make the score 9-6, but the Bears had the bases loaded with one out and didn't score again in the inning.
In the fifth, and RBI single by freshman Blake Thompson, his first career hit and an RBI ground out by Gerken pulled the Bears to within 9-8.
Coast Guard had runners on first and second in the ninth, but Gerken was called out a close play at first to end the game.
Babkiewich and junior Mike Massaro each had two hits and an RBI in the second game for Coast Guard.
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March 18, 2012 Bears Split with Castleton
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