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Muhlenberg College

Saturday, March 27, 2010 - page 3

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baseball sweeps past bullets

Jason Daniels barely broke a sweat in his last start for the Muhlenberg baseball team. Pitching in a midweek non-conference game at Moravian, the junior righty struck out all three batters he faced on only 12 pitches before handing the ball over to the bullpen.

Things were not quite so easy against Gettysburg, but Daniels came through in a big way, tossing a nine-inning complete game and allowing only eight hits as the Mules (8-9, 2-1) completed a Centennial Conference doubleheader sweep with a 5-4 victory. Muhlenberg won the first game 10-5 on the strength of two five-run innings.

“That was just to get me ready for the conference games,” said Daniels
Mike Speroni
Speroni pitched four innings in relief in Game 1, allowing only three hits and one earned run, to earn his first win of the season.
of his short stint at Moravian. “I wanted to stay in that game – it was the best I felt in a long time. I took the success from Moravian and used that today.”

Daniels also used the early offense his teammates provided to build a 5-0 lead after four innings. Senior Dan Fisher doubled in the first two runs in the second and scored on a single up the middle by freshman Joseph Vila. Sophomore Nick Busillo drove in a run with a pinch-hit double in the third, and Vila doubled in Fisher the next inning.

The Bullets (8-9, 0-3) got one run back in the fifth and cut the margin to one by plating three runs in the seventh. They looked to be in good position to tie the score in the eighth when the leadoff batter reached second base, but Daniels fielded a bunt and threw him out at third.

“It was right to me,” said Daniels. “Right away Eli [Branzburg] yelled ‘3’ and Bobby [Spindler] got the tag down. That turned out to be a pretty big play.”

Daniels closed out the game by retiring the next five hitters to go the full nine for the first time in his career.

Heads-up fielding by the pitcher also played a big role in the opening game. Muhlenberg led by the same score, 5-4, in the bottom of the sixth, but Gettysburg had the bases loaded when sophomore Mike Speroni started an inning-ending 1-2-3 double play against the cleanup hitter.

The Mules put the game out of reach by scoring five runs the next inning.

“Fielding is something we stress all the time when we’re not throwing,” noted Daniels. “In those two situations it helped to turn the tide of the game.”

Muhlenberg’s five-run third inning in Game 1 featured a two-run double by sophomore Jesse Nusbaum and an RBI single by sophomore Brian Beck. Fisher, who had a bunt single in the first five-run inning, delivered a two-run single in the second. His four runs scored on the day moved him into sole possession of second place on the Mules’ all-time list with 121 for his career.

The sweep put Muhlenberg back in the right direction after consecutive one-run losses, including one to Swarthmore in the CC opener on Tuesday.

“We let that game slip away, and it left a bad taste in our mouth,” said Daniels. “Today’s sweep was huge – a big stepping stone in getting us to where we want to be.”
Click here for line scores.
Click for complete stats: Game 1 | Game 2

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