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Muhlenberg College

Friday, April 16, 2010

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baseball comes back to give cresta no. 20

A 26-3 win counts the same in the standings as a come-from-behind 6-3 win, so which is better?

“Winning 26-3 was a lot nicer because we could all relax,” said Joseph DiCecilia with a laugh. “Today was a nailbiter.”

Relaxed or not, DiCecilia played a big role as the
Beck doubled in a run in the ninth and finished 4-for-5, raising his average to .333.
Muhlenberg baseball team completed its season sweep of Dickinson by scoring all of its runs in the last four innings to win, 6-3, three days after the 26-3 win.

Senior Phil Cresta pitched a complete-game seven-hitter to earn the 20th win of his career, moving him within one of the school record. The lefty struck out nine and finished with a flourish, retiring 15 of the final 17 hitters after allowing an unearned run in the fourth. The only hitter to reach base with a hit during that stretch was promptly picked off by Cresta.

“Phil had his stuff today,” said DiCecilia. “He gave up some hard hits early on, but between the sixth and the ninth he was lights out. He really mixed in his strikes and kept them off balance.”

The Mule hitters didn’t fare much better against the Red Devil hurler, managing just two hits in the first five innings. With Muhlenberg down 3-0, freshman John Muha – batting leadoff for the first time in his career – opened the top of the sixth with a double and was sacrificed to third. DiCecilia got the Mules (14-14, 8-6) within a run with one swing of the bat, belting his seventh home run of the season.

“It seemed like a good idea to try to hit the ball to the outfield, to get the run in,” he said. “I got a fastball where I liked it and it just carried out.”

Muhlenberg got the tying run into scoring position that inning but couldn’t drive it in, then went down 1-2-3 in the seventh. Muha sparked a rally again in the eighth, leading off with a single and advancing to second on senior Eric Pomroy’s second straight sac bunt.

DiCecilia drove in the tying run with a single and went to second on the throw home. He scored the go-ahead run on a single through the right side by sophomore Brian Beck, who in turn came home on a two-out hit by freshman Joseph Vila, capping the three-run outburst.

The Mules added another insurance run in the ninth, and Cresta struck out the final hitter to close the books on the win, which moved Muhlenberg into a tie for third place in the Centennial Conference with Swarthmore. The Mules are a half-game ahead of Franklin & Marshall, which was rained out against Haverford, and a game in front of Washington heading into Saturday’s big home doubleheader against fourth-ranked Johns Hopkins.

“At the beginning of the game we were really flat, but in the middle innings and late in the game we really got into it,” said DiCecilia. “We’re going to need that momentum to beat a good team like Johns Hopkins.
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