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Muhlenberg College

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

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Women’s tennis, women’s lacrosse

baseball bats come back vs. devils

Edward Risener could never match teammate Christian Conti in a footrace, but he is trying to keep pace with him statistically.

The burly first baseman and fleet outfielder, both juniors on the Muhlenberg baseball team, entered the day tied for the Centennial Conference lead with 31 RBI, well within striking distance of the school record of 41 with the season having just turned the halfway point.

Conti pulled ahead for the time being with four RBI to two for Risener
Mark Shive
Sophomore Mark Shive pitched two innings of scoreless relief.
in the Mules’ 14-7 home win against Dickinson.

“We joke about how we’re both on pace [to break the record],” said Risener. “It’s a credit to the guys hitting in front of us.”

All joking aside, the production of Risener and Conti – just the fourth pair of Muhlenberg players to drive in 30 runs in a season – has helped the Mule offense average nearly 10 runs per game. That offense was held to one hit in the second half of Saturday’s doubleheader loss at Franklin & Marshall, but rebounded nicely against the Red Devils (6-15, 1-4).

“It was really important to get that bad taste out of our mouth,” said Risener. “We’re used to putting runs on the board. But we got a good pitching game, so we took the positive out of it. We’re trying to put that perfect game together – good pitching, good hitting and good fielding. We get bits and pieces of it.”

The hitting piece was in place against Dickinson, putting up runs in each of the first five innings. The Mules (11-11, 2-3) matched the Devils’ two runs in the top of the first by scoring two of their own on a triple by Conti and single by junior John Kalis.

Conti, who began the week tied for the Division III lead in triples, added another three-bagger in the fourth to tie the school record of eight in a season.

Muhlenberg broke the game open with five runs in the second. A bases-loaded single by junior Eric Hammond brought in two runs. Two batters later, with the bases full again, Conti narrowly missed a grand slam, hitting a fly ball to deep center that was dropped, allowing two runs to score. Risener followed with an RBI single up the middle.

Conti didn’t miss a thing in the fifth, driving a pitch far over the left-field for his sixth home run of the season. The two-run blast gave the Mules a 12-5 lead and made it hard for Risener, the next batter, to add to his RBI total.

“It’s good to see but tough to follow,” laughed Risener, who is 0-for-5 with a walk following a Conti blast. “I haven’t seen anybody as hot as him in a long time.”

Conti’s three-extra-base hit game raised his slugging average to .932. His 17 extra-base hits are three short of the school record for a season.

Kalis finished 3-for-5, while Hammond drove in three runs and senior Joe Carlo scored three.
Click here for line score.

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