Bears Rally From Six Run Deficit to Split With Merchant Marine

Jeremy Lhotka
Jeremy Lhotka

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Coast Guard scored six runs in the sixth to erase a six run deficit and added one more in the seventh in the nightcap to salvage a split of a doubleheader with archrival Merchant Marine beating the Mariners 9-8 after dropping the season opener 4-2 at the Gene Cusic Classic.

Senior Jeremy Lhotka was 4 for 4 in the second game with three RBI's and had five hits for the Bears in the doubleheader.

Merchant Marine goes back North with a record of 6-3.

Coast Guard is back in action on Sunday when the Bears host Finlandia in a doubleheader at noon.

GAME ONE – MERCHANT MARINE 4, COAST GUARD 2

Coast Guard took a 1-0 lead on an RBI double by senior Will Stephens in the bottom of the first.

The Mariners scored twice in the third and added two more unearned runs in the fourth for a 4-1 lead.

Junior Alex Cordes' RBI single in the fourth pulled the Bears to within 4-2, but senior Jake Behne was thrown out at the plate to end the threat on the same play.

Andrew Spinnenweber (1-0) got the win as he worked six innings and allowed five hits and two earned runs while Kyle Cunningham pitched a perfect seventh to record his third save of the season.

Junior Brett Sullivan (0-1) was the tough luck loser for the Bears as he went the distance and allowed just four hits and a pair of earned runs while walking two and fanning five.

GAME TWO – COAST GUARD 9, MERCHANT MARINE 8

Merchant Marine had the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh before a ground ball double play ended the threat and Will Stephens recorded his first career save.

Alex Mesaros hit a grand slam in the fourth to give Merchant Marine and 8-2 lead before Dan Finn came on for the Bears and pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to keep the Bears in the game.

Coast Guard would take advantage of a pair of Mariner errors in the six-run sixth to tie the game.

In the sixth, junior Jon Pressley had an RBI single before the Bears would score a run on back-to-back infield errors with the bases loaded to pull to within 8-5. Senior Will Stephens drew a bases loaded walk before Jeremy Lhotka's two-run single tied the game 8-8.

The Bears would score the eventual game runner in the top of the seventh as Jake Behne led off with a walk, was bunted to second and moved to third on a single by Cody Fidler before scoring on a wild pitch.

Lhotka was 4 for 4 with a double while Behne added two hits in the win.

Freshman Connor Glynn came on with the game tied in the sixth and pitched a scoreless inning to register his first career win.

Freshmen Nolan Johnson and Cody Fidler each had the first hits of their career in the win.