Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Thursday, March 16, 2006
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Junior Ryan Sassaman drove home senior Matt Tobia with a one-out single in the bottom of the ninth to give the Muhlenberg baseball team a dramatic 10-9 win against Misericordia in its home opener.

Tobia opened the ninth by drawing a walk – the only one issued by either team in a game that featured 30 hits. One out later, freshman John Kalis rapped a single through the right side of the infield, sending Tobia to second. On a 1-1 pitch, Sassaman lined a single to left for his third hit of the game, and Tobia scored without a throw.

The game did not appear destined for a walkoff finish when the Mules (3-5)
Matt Tobia
Tobia gets welcomed home after his eighth career home run.
scored seven runs in the first two innings, but the Cougars (1-9) came back by scoring in each of the last five frames. They tied the score with three two-out runs in the top of the ninth.

Muhlenberg came out swinging, plating five runs on six hits, including four doubles, in the bottom of the first. After the first two batters singled, sophomore Joseph Carlo brought them home by booming a double to deep center. Consecutive two-baggers by junior Pete Oris, Kalis and Sassaman plated three more runs.

The only one of the Mules’ top seven hitters to miss out on the first-inning action was Tobia, but he made up for it in the second with a two-run homer, his second of the season, to make the score 7-1.

That was a good working margin for junior Jason Bonder, who had his best outing of the season by far. He pitched seven innings, allowing only two earned runs and striking out five. More importantly, Bonder, who walked 10 batters in 8 2/3 innings in two Arizona starts, did not issue a free pass.

“I was a lot more comfortable than I was in Arizona, being on my home mound,” he said. “The big thing was throwing the ball hard and hoping it ended up in the right spot.”

Bonder left with an 8-4 lead, but was denied his first win of the season when Misericordia mounted its comeback against the Muhlenberg bullpen. Unlike two games in Arizona in which the Mules squandered early leads and lost by a run, they were able to pull this one out.

“It’s disappointing not to get the ‘W,’ but it was good to see us battle back and Ryan come up with the big hit,” Bonder said.

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Last updated March 16, 2006