Gwynedd Mercy Breaks Out Bats In Playoff Opener

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GWYNEDD VALLEY, PA. -- Gwynedd Mercy pounded out a season-high 22 hits to storm Immaculata, 20-11, in their CSAC Tournament opener on Wednesday.

The second-seeded Griffins will now travel to top-seeded Keystone, who defeated fourth-seeded Neumann, 13-0, tomorrow in a winner's game at 3 p.m.

Senior John Burns knocked in a career-high six RBI's and was a triple shy of the cycle while Dante Cassano added three doubles and three RBI's. Sophomore Mike Marchitto also added three RBI's while going 3-for-5. Both Cassano and Marchitto would score four times apiece.

Gwynedd (19-16-1) did their damage early on, leading 2-0 after one, tacking on five in the second, and would plate four in the third for an 11-3 lead. Six runs in the fifth stretched the lead 14.

Burns would knock in two with his bloop double to right against a shifted outfield in the first. After a two-run triple from Marchitto and a run-scoring single from Cassano in the second, Burns blasted his fourth home run of the season to up the lead to 7-0. The Mighty Macs tried to answer in the third off of starter Jamey Minnemeyer. IU (20-13) would load the bases with two outs before Eli Vottero drove them all in with a triple to right to cut into the Gwynedd lead. The Griffins responded with four runs in the bottom of the frame highlighted by Cassano's two-run double.

In the fifth, Burns would again drop in a double to right to score Marchitto. Later in the inning, a two-run single from Beau Fleming and a two-run double from Greg Brooks along with a run-scoring hit from David Blount accounted for a six-run frame.

The Griffins would score in every inning but the fourth and eighth.

Minnemeyer went five innings, to improve his record to 5-1 on the season. Immaculata's John Pedorenko lasted into the third but allowed 10 runs on 10 hits.

Officially, Cassano was 4-for-5 with four runs and three RBI's. Burns was also 4-for-5 with two runs and a walk. Fleming was 2-for-6 with three RBI's while Brooks was 2-for-2 with two runs, two hit by pitch and a walk, reaching base in all five plate appearances.

Immaculata will host Neumann tomorrow in an elimination game. The winner of that game and the Gwynedd-Keystone loser will meet on Friday in another elimination contest.