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Muhlenberg College

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

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conti continues hot hitting

Junior Christian Conti impressed his teammates on the Muhlenberg baseball team by running out five triples in the Mules’ eight games in Florida. Back up north, he took more leisurely trips around the bases.

Conti blasted two three-run home runs en route to tying a school record with eight RBI as Muhlenberg toppled
Eric Pomroy
Sophomore Eric Pomroy slides in safely on the back end of a double steal in the big fifth inning.
Misericordia, 23-8, in its home opener.

“I prefer the home runs,” joked Conti, the reigning Centennial Conference player of the week. “It’s easier on my legs, and it’s worth a little more, so why not take it.”

The Mules (5-4) and Cougars (4-7) were tied, 3-3, when Conti came to bat with runners on first and third with nobody out in the bottom of the fifth and drove a low pitch over the fence in left. The round-tripper set the tone for a nine-run inning that was capped by a two-run single off the bat of Conti.

Muhlenberg was ahead comfortably, 13-4, when Conti hit his second bomb, this one to left-center, in the seventh.

“You never really think about hitting homers,” said Conti. “Especially on a cold day, you just don’t want to get jammed.”

They may not have been thinking about them, but the Mules took advantage of a strong wind blowing out to left to hit four homers, one short of the school record. Freshman Bobby Spindler belted a solo shot in the fifth, and freshman Joseph DiCecilia came off the bench to hit a pinch-hit grand slam in the seven-run eighth inning.

Welcome to the new Cedarcreek Field, which had its fences moved in during the offseason.

“It’s never an option to consider ourselves out of the game, since runs can be scored pretty easily,” said Conti of the new dimensions. “We can always pop one out, especially with the wind blowing out.”

The 23 runs, coming after Sunday’s 21-6 win against Wisconsin Lutheran, gave the Mules back-to-back 20-run games for only the second time in their history (and they lost both games the first time).

Junior Eric Hammond went 4-for-5 with five runs scored. Sophomore Dan Fisher scored four runs, as did Conti, who improved his batting average to .545 and his slugging average to 1.152.

“Coach [Jonmichael] Vito really worked with me on keeping my composure while up at the plate,” said Conti in explaining his torrid start. “Last year I started off as a pitcher and started to get good at-bats at the end of the year. Starting off as a hitter this year, it just came together.”
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