Baseball Hands Illinois College First Loss, Improves to 9-1

Friday, March 9, 2012

Doing the “little things” well is adding up to some big things for the Muhlenberg baseball team.

The Mules had two productive outs in the decisive inning and turned three double plays in knocking off previously undefeated Illinois College, 4-1, for their fifth straight win.

Ryan Rechten
Rechten's four saves are tied for the most by a Mule pitcher since 2003.
Muhlenberg now has the second-best record after 10 games (9-1) in program history; the 1928 team was 11-0. The five-game winning streak matches the team’s longest since 2005.

The Mules were outhit, 11-7, but four pitchers – freshman Matthew Lawsky, junior Tim Velys, freshman Austin Cush and junior Ryan Rechten – minimized the damage by spacing the hits out. The Blueboys (7-1) did not have more than two hits in any inning and advanced only three runners past second base.

John Scuderi
Muhlenberg has turned 17 double plays in 10 games, with John Scuderi involved in 13 of them.
The defense helped out too, playing an errorless game for the fourth time this season and turning double plays to erase leadoff singles in the third and sixth. Muhlenberg ended the eighth with another twin killing.

Lawsky pitched six shutout innings, leaving after a leadoff double in the seventh. He struck out six and walking none in earning his first career win. Illinois threatened in the fifth, putting runners on second and third with one out, but Lawsky got a popout and a strikeout to defuse the rally.

Rechten worked around a leadoff double in the ninth, striking out two of the final three hitters, to earn his fourth save.

The game was scoreless in the seventh when freshman Nick Plinio drew a leadoff walk. Sophomore Brett Rosen bunted him to second, and freshman Jimmy Cody singled him over to third.

A sacrifice fly by junior John Muha brought in Plinio with the game’s first run, and Cody scored on an error.

After Illinois cut the gap in half with a run in the bottom of the seventh, Plinio hit a two-out, two-run homer in the eighth to give Muhlenberg some breathing room.

Muha went 2-for-3, and junior Joseph Vila hit a double for his eighth extra-base hit of the season.
Click here for line score.
Click here for complete stats.