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Thursday, April 14, 2011

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Softball Tennis

Goose’s walkoff helps baseball
soar past Garnet

video of walkoff home run
Click above to see the video of the Mules' ninth-inning hits.
With the ping of Nick Busillo’s bat, everyone on the Muhlenberg baseball team’s bench leapt up in anticipation.

“Go ball,” one yelled. “Get out of here,” another added.

When the ball finally carried over the right field fence, the entire Mule dugout rushed onto the field. And when Busillo crossed home plate, he was immediately mobbed by his teammates.

Busillo, known as “Goose” to his teammates, delivered a two-out, three-run walkoff home run to cap a five-run comeback and give the Mules a dramatic 8-7 win over Swarthmore.

It was Muhlenberg’s first walkoff home run since April 4, 2006. And according to Busillo, it was quite a memorable way to hit the first round-tripper of his Mule career.

“I’m still in shock,” the junior said after the game. “I thought I got under it a
Andy Doolittle
Doolittle worked two perfect innings to earn the first win of his career.
little too much, but then I saw the right fielder running and then stop at the wall. Next thing I know everybody’s screaming, and the umpire is signaling a home run.

“That was just unreal. It was an incredible feeling and an amazing experience. I hit one when I was a junior in high school, but this was so much better; I can’t even describe it.”

Busillo’s heroics capped a wild Muhlenberg (7-22-1, 4-7) rally that spanned the final two innings.

With the Mules trailing 7-2 in the bottom of the eighth, sophomore John Muha and junior Brian Beck connected on back-to-back, one-out singles before Busillo singled to left center to score Muha.

Freshman Max Litvak followed with a single of his own to plate Beck, and then Busillo slid just under the tag on a shallow sacrifice fly by freshman John Scuderi to make it 7-5.

After freshman Pat Doolittle retired the Garnet (16-9, 7-4) in order in the ninth, the Mules came to bat looking to get the winning run to the plate.

Junior Dan DeCaria led off with a single up the middle, the first hit of his career. Then Muha singled to left to set the stage for Busillo.

“After we had cut it to 5-2 we were feeling pretty good, but then they went up 7-2,” Busillo said. “But we didn’t press, which was key. We took good approaches at the plate and got some quality at bats. And in the end that’s what helped us get the win.”

Busillo finished the day 2-for-2 with four RBI and two runs scored, while Muha added two hits and scored three runs. Freshman Nick Gazzillo came off the bench to go 2-for-2, and classmate Tyler Latrenta picked up the first hit of his career.

The win over the Garnet, which entered the game in third place in the Centennial Conference, snapped Muhlenberg's five-game losing streak.
Bobby Spindler
Senior Bobby Spindler tags out a Garnet baserunner.
And according to Busillo, it should serve as a major confidence boost.

“This was a huge win for us because they’re one of the top teams in the conference,” Busillo said. “We’ve been so close so many times this season, so when we started making that comeback there was a sense of urgency and we said, ‘We’ve got to go right now.’

“This was a great win and one I will remember for the rest of my career.”
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