Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Tuesday, April 10, 2007
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Something was different for senior catcher A.J. Bettini at the Muhlenberg baseball team’s home game against Swarthmore, and it wasn’t just because it was his 22nd birthday.

The game was the first at Cedarcreek Field since the backstop behind home plate was moved back about 15 feet. Bettini didn’t let any balls get behind him for wild pitches, and the
Pete Oris
Oris is third in team history with 101 career runs batted in.
Mule offense continued to click, pounding out a season-high 22 hits in a 16-6 win against Swarthmore.

“It makes it more challenging,” said Bettini of the field improvement. “You don’t have a wall behind you. You actually have to work to stop balls.”

Muhlenberg (6-14, 2-5) benefited from the new backstop in the first inning, when a passed ball trickled beyond where the old backstop was, allowing sophomore Eric Pomroy to score from third. A sacrifice fly by senior Pete Oris brought in a second run in the inning.

The game was tied 2-2 heading into the bottom of the fourth when the Mules began to put some distance between themselves and the Garnet (2-17, 0-9). Freshman Dan Fisher led off with a single and scored on a single by senior Tom McDonald, who went 4-for-5 after coming into the game with one hit all season.

Sophomore Christian Conti blasted a triple for the second day in a row to plate McDonald, then scored on a groundout by Bettini. Senior Ryan Sassaman followed with a single and scored the fourth run of the frame on a sacrifice fly.

Muhlenberg batted around again in the fifth, scoring five runs to open up an 11-2 lead. McDonald and Conti – who missed the cycle by a home run – had back-to-back doubles, Pomroy hit a triple, and junior Joe Carlo drove in a run with his third hit.

Five more runs crossed the plate in the seventh, when the Mules got pinch-hit singles from sophomores Chris Costa and Danny Asip and senior Matthew Block. Oris belted a two-run triple to surpass the 100-RBI mark for his career.

In all, Muhlenberg got hits from 12 different players in winning by 10 runs for the second consecutive day. The Mules have scored in double digits three straight games, hitting .429 to raise their team batting average from .276 to .307.

“We’re just seeing the ball better,” said Bettini, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games with an infield single in his first at-bat. “We knew it would come around; it was just a matter of time. Hopefully we can carry it through the rest of this week and the weekend”

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Last updated April 10, 2007