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Muhlenberg College

Saturday, April 3, 2010

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Baseball wins second to earn split at f&m

The juniors and seniors on the Muhlenberg baseball team can cross the last team off their list.

The upperclassmen had defeated every other team in the Centennial Conference except Franklin & Marshall since start of the 2008 season. After dropping the first game of this year’s doubleheader, 3-2, the Mules finally broke through against the Diplomats, jumping out to a 9-0 lead and hanging on to win, 13-11.

“It wasn’t only that we got the win, but this was the first time we played F&M well
Eric Pomroy, Joseph DiCecilia
Pomroy (2) catches a throw from DiCecilia on a rundown after Harper picked off F&M’s Jason Anderson.
both games, a full day of baseball,” said senior Eric Pomroy. “We have a lot of potential and we showed it today.”

Junior Joseph DiCecilia hit yet another home run, and Pomroy, junior Jeff Puklin and freshman John Muha all had three hits in the second game to lead a 17-hit attack.

Muhlenberg led 13-7 with two innings to go before F&M made things interesting by scoring three runs in the eighth and one in the ninth. The Diplomats got the tying runs on base before freshman Ryan Rechten got the final two hitters to pop out to earn his first career save.

“I was getting a little bit nervous. It seemed like every inning they would chew away at the lead,” said Pomroy. “But Ryan came up big and did what we needed.”

The win kept Muhlenberg (11-11, 5-3) in the thick of the CC race. The Mules, one of three teams tied for third place with a 5-3 record, are four games into a stretch of six consecutive contests against teams that made the CC playoffs last year. Muhlenberg went 0-6 in those games in 2009 but is 2-2 so far this time, with two meetings with Ursinus coming next week.

The Mules’ losing streak against F&M was 12 games, dating back to 2004, and many of the recent ones weren’t close. But both of these were. In the opener, Muhlenberg trailed 2-0 before senior Dan Fisher led off the top of the sixth with a triple and scored on a groundout. A walk to Pomroy and a double by DiCecilia put the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position, but the next two hitters were retired.

F&M (10-10-1, 5-3) scored an insurance run in the bottom of the inning. In the top of the seventh, Fisher singled in Muha with two out to make the score 3-2, but he was thrown out trying to steal second to end the game.

Junior Chris Harper took the loss despite pitching a six-hitter and allowing only two earned runs.

Muhlenberg took advantage of poor Diplomat fielding to break on top in the nightcap. Two runs scored on an infield error in the bottom of the first, and two more errors led to a seven-run second, with five runs coming in on consecutive batters. Pomroy singled in two runs with the bases loaded, and DiCecilia followed with a three-run opposite-field home run, his sixth circuit clout of the season.

DiCecilia drove in another run with a sac fly in the third and doubled and scored in the fifth. He has five home runs and 22 RBI in the last 12 games.

“Joe started the season off hot in Florida, then he cooled down a little, and now he’s hot again. It makes a world of difference in our lineup,” said Pomroy, who hits ahead of DiCecilia in the order. “I see a lot more balls in the zone. He can hit the long ball, and if he doubles the five and six batters can drive him in.”

One of those players, Muha, had a big hit in the seventh, a two-out, two-run single that game the Mules a 13-6 lead and proved to be the difference in the game.

Although he scored two runs, Fisher had his hitting streak snapped at 14 games in the nightcap. He also made a great diving catch to his right on the first batter of the game.
Click here for line scores.
Click for complete stats: Game 1 | Game 2

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