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Monday, March 7, 2011 - page 3

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baseball drops pair of close decisions
to Alvernia

Joseph Vila
Vila (holding up helmet) gets congratulated at home after hitting his second career home run.
The Muhlenberg baseball team played two close games against a solid team but remained winless in Florida, falling 4-2 and 4-3 in extra innings to Alvernia.

Last year, the Crusaders went 32-12 and received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, where they won a game.

Alvernia scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning of the opener, but sophomore Rob Shannon, making his first career start, settled down nicely. He allowed only one unearned run and three hits over the rest of his 5-inning stint.

The Mules (2-6-1) cut the 4-0 deficit in half when sophomore Joseph Vila belted a two-run homer over the left-field fence in the sixth. They got the tying run to the plate later that inning, but the Crusader closer came in and struck out the last four batters of the game.

Muhlenberg fell behind early in the second game as well. Alvernia took advantage of wildness to score three runs in the first two innings, but freshman Sean Stipa kept the Mules in the game with strong relief pitching. Taking the mound with the bases loaded in the second, he got out of that jam, then set down the Crusaders on no runs and four hits through the seventh inning.

The Mules scored two in the third on RBI singles by senior Joseph DiCecilia and sophomore Jimmy Aramanda.

In the fifth, Muhlenberg caught a break to tie the score. DiCecilia was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and stole second. With one out, Aramanda hit a soft ground ball to the right of the mound and was tagged out by the pitcher, who mistakenly thought it was the third out and flipped the ball back toward the mound. DiCecilia alertly rounded third and slid home safely with the tying run.

The Mules had only one baserunner over the next three innings, however, and Alvernia scored the winning run in the top of the eighth.

Vila had four hits (two in each game) in the doubleheader.
Click here for line scores.
Click for complete stats: Game 1 | Game 2

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