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Muhlenberg College

Friday, April 11, 2008

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baseball c“lynch”-es sweep of garnet

Displeased with the hitting approach after Muhlenberg made six fly ball outs in the first three innings of its home game against Swarthmore, head baseball coach Corey Goff had a message for his team: “We have to get on top of the ball! Fly balls are easy to catch.”

Well, not if you have to run through a chain link fence to catch them.

Freshman Clint Lynch hit Kevin Witmier his first career home run the next inning to break a 2-2 tie, and the Mules went on to an 8-2 win, completing their season sweep of the Garnet.

“I do listen to my coach,” joked Lynch, the seventh different Muhlenberg player to homer this year. “The pitch was right down the middle and I turned on it real good. I was just trying to hit it hard.”

Lynch’s blast was the only extra-base hit for the Mules (14-13, 5-5), whose bats were relatively quiet. Muhlenberg scored in six of its eight turns at-bat, but never more than two runs, and some of its runs came in less dramatic ways.

After Lynch’s round-tripper, junior Eric Hammond was hit by a pitch, then came around to score on one strange play. Stealing with the pitch, Hammond continued on to third when the ball got by the catcher, then came home when the catcher’s throw to third went down the left-field line.

Muhlenberg’s two runs in the sixth came around on back-to-back wild pitches with runners on second and third.

Junior Edward Risener went 3-for-5 with RBI singles in the first and eighth, and senior Joe Carlo (third inning) and freshman Bobby Spindler (fifth) added two-out run-scoring singles. Junior John Kalis also had three hits, and Hammond stole three bases.

Four Mule pitchers combined to scatter 10 hits, with freshman Kevin Witmier working the first four innings by predetermined plan to earn his first career win. Witmier (left) allowed one earned run on six hits.

“He did a great job,” said Lynch, his catcher. “His arm is a little off, so he was limited, but he did exactly what we wanted him to do.”

Senior Paul Faith pitched three scoreless innings in relief, helping the Muhlenberg climb back to .500 in the Centennial Conference. The Mules are tied with Ursinus for fifth place, a game behind both Haverford and Saturday’s scheduled opponent, Gettysburg.

“This was a very important win,” said Lynch. “Number one, it was our first sweep, and it put us in a good position for Gettysburg.”
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