FORT MYERS, Fla. – Senior Mark Behne hit an inside the park three-run homer leading Coast Guard to a 7-6 win in the opener before Merchant Marine salvaged a split with a 5-4 win in the night cap at the Gene Cusic Classic.
Junior Luke Sniatkowski (1-0) went the first five innings allowing seven hits and five earned runs while walking five and fanning seven to get the win before sophomore Cody Bain allowed just one hit over the final two innings and he struck out two to pickup his second save of the season.
Merchant Marine got on the board in the second before Coast Guard scored four times in the third on an RBI by junior Kyle Jackson to tie the game before Behne's shot to center fooled the centerfielder and the speedy Behne came all the way around for the inside the parker and a 4-1 lead.
The Bears added a run in the fourth on an error before the Mariners scored five times in the home half of the fourth to take a 6-5 lead. Tyler Mowy's two-run double made the score 5-3 before a sacrifice fly by Michael Barnes and RBI single by Kai Vitella and an RBI fielder's choice by Quinn Fleming gave the Mariners the lead.
Coast Guard responded in the fifth tying the game on an RBI fielder's choice by sophomore Tucker Williams and then scored the eventual winning run on an RBI ground out by senior Ed Lazowski for the 7-6 lead.
Sophomores Zach Serna and Christian Toscano each had two of the Bears eight hits in the game one win.
In the night cap, junior southpaw Colton Cannon (1-1) was the tough luck loser as he went six strong innings allowing just two hits, but he allowed four unearned run and just one earned run while walking four and striking out eight in taking the loss.
Merchant Marine took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third before the Bears pulled even in the fourth on RBI double by Serna before tying the game on an error.
The Mariners scored three unearned runs in the fourth on just one hit, an RBI triple by Fleming as well as a walk and a pair of errors for a 5-2 lead.
Coast Guard got one in the sixth on a throwing error and pulled to within 5-4 on a sacrifice fly by Serna in the bottom of the seventh of the seven inning game.
Lazowski, the tying run, was stranded at third base as the Bears settled for the split.
Sophomore Alex Murdoch, senior Cory Sonnega and Lazowski each had two hits for the Bears in the second game while Serna drove in a pair of runs. Wood walked all four times he came to the plate in the second game.
Coast Guard and Merchant Marine play the rubber game of the three game series on Monday morning at 9:00 with the point for the Superintendent's Trophy on the line. Coast Guard currently leads the Mariners 8-6 this season.
POST GAME INTERVIEW WITH HEAD COACH C.C. GRANT