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Muhlenberg College

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

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baseball bats find cure vs. moravian

Hitting is contagious. So are measles, mumps and the flu.

The Muhlenberg baseball team entered its game against local rival Moravian in a team batting slump that had reached epidemic proportions, but broke out of it in a big
Phil Cresta
Cresta allowed only one runner past second base. Last year, he allowed eight runs in eight innings vs. Moravian.
way, pounding out 25 hits (two short of the school record) in an 18-4 win.

The win gave Muhlenberg an 8-4 lead on Moravian in the 2008-09 Matte Award standings with five contests to play. The Mules need only one more point to clinch the Matte Award for the fifth time in six years.

Muhlenberg (5-9) had scored only 11 runs in its last eight games, and over the weekend the Mules plated only one unearned run on seven hits in three games. But four innings of at least four runs gave the team its highest offensive output of the season.

“We talked about not pressing as much,” sophomore Clint Lynch, who tied a school record – achieved three times previously, but not since 1990 – with three doubles. “I think everyone was a lot more loose today.”

Senior John Kalis helped loosen things up by leading off the second with a triple – his 12th career three-bagger. After an error and Lynch’s first double plated one run, senior Eric Hammond singled up the middle for his first two RBI of the season. It was the first of five two-run singles for the Mules.

That would be more than enough for junior Phil Cresta, who pitched a brilliant seven shutout innings to earn his 12th career win. He allowed only five hits, struck out six and did not walk a batter against a Greyhound (9-6) lineup that came in with a team batting average of .372 and averaging more than 10 runs per game.

“All my pitches were working today,” said Cresta. “We haven’t scored many runs in the past few games. I kind of figured we were due to break out. It was nice to pitch with a lead.”

The lead got bigger the next inning, a five-run frame that featured two-run singles by sophomore Jeff Puklin and junior Eric Pomroy, who went 5-for-6 to become the first player in Muhlenberg baseball history with a 5-hit game and a 6-hit game.

The Mules got into the Moravian bullpen and scored four runs in each of their last two turns at bat. Senior Christian Conti drove in two runs in both innings; his three hits in the game left him one short of 100 for his career. Freshman Nick Busillo knocked in two runs with his first career hit, a pinch-hit single in the eighth.
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