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Muhlenberg College

Thursday, April 29, 2010

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Softball honors Track championship preview

Baseball ends season with
comeback win, record

Phil Cresta
Cresta is congratulated by Lynch (top) and receives the game ball from freshman John Muha, who made the final catch in right.
When senior Phil Cresta tied the school record for career wins last Saturday, his teammates ambushed him with a postgame shaving-cream pie to the face. So when Cresta broke the record in the Muhlenberg baseball team’s final game of the season, a 6-4 victory over local rival DeSales, did he see another pie coming?

“I had no idea,” laughed Cresta, who of course received another celebratory pie to the face. “I forget about that every time.”

Cresta’s memory may have failed him, but for those in attendance at Limeport Stadium there was nothing forgettable about the record-setting performance. Facing a team that entered the week 20th in Division III in batting average, Cresta pitched a complete-game six-hitter, allowing three earned runs and striking out five, to pick up his 22nd career win.

“He deserves it,” said senior Dan Fisher of the record. “You couldn’t ask for a better teammate.”

Eric Pomroy
Pomroy’s ninth-inning hit was his 48th of the year, setting a new single-season career high.
But it was Cresta’s teammates, Fisher among them, that helped turn the night into something special. The Mules (17-19) rallied for four runs in the top of the eighth to turn a two-run deficit into a two-run lead, giving Cresta a chance to earn the win.

Junior Joseph DiCecilia began the rally with leadoff single up the middle, and he then stole second. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases, but after the Bulldogs (22-14) made a pitching change, the inning appeared to stall with a 6-4-3 double play that plated DiCecilia but put two outs on the board.

But the Mules got three straight clutch hits, beginning with freshman Jimmy Aramanda, who sealed Cresta’s tying victory against Washington with a walkoff walk. This time Aramanda smacked a pinch single through the right side to tie the score at 4-4.

“He’s my savior,” joked Cresta.

Phil Cresta
Cresta ends his Muhlenberg career with four career and single-season records.
Junior Jeff Puklin followed with a base hit to right, and pinch runner Taylor Sutton scored the go-ahead run after the right fielder bobbled the ball. Fisher then added an insurance run with a base hit of his own.

“It’s a shame we couldn’t get some of those clutch hits on Saturday,” commented Fisher. “But you couldn’t ask for a better way to go out than with a win against a very good program like DeSales. It was storybook.”

Storybook, too, were the ends of the careers of the Mules’ three seniors. Cresta’s concluded with three and two-thirds no-hit innings – the final out coming on a lazy fly ball to right – and Fisher and Eric Pomroy both singled in their final turns at bat.

“They’re two of the best players in Muhlenberg history,” said Cresta of his fellow seniors. “I’m honored to have played with them. I’m happy we were able to go out with a win.”

Fisher was 3-for-4 with a walk in the game and finished just one run short of the single-season record. His three hits gave him 58 for the season, surpassing the previous school for record hits in a season which was already eclipsed by DiCecilia this year. DiCecilia was 2-for-5 to give him 61 hits for the year.

Junior Clint Lynch walked twice and gave the Mules a 2-1 lead in the sixth with an RBI double.
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