Baseball Celebrates National Recognition By Beating Valley Forge Christian

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Men’s golf preview

Billy Rogers
Rogers has struck out five or more batters in each of his three wins this season.
The Muhlenberg baseball team has been making a lot of history in the first half of the season. And the best start for the program in more than 70 years did not go unnoticed: The Mules received five votes in the latest poll.

It’s the first time the Mules have ever received votes in a national poll, and they went out and lived up to their billing by beating Valley Forge Christian, 10-1, to move to 13-4 for the first time ever.

“We’ve been playing well this year, so it’s nice to get some recognition,” said freshman Kurt Johnson. “It’s a great feeling to see our name there with some of the best teams in the country, but we also know it’s going to take a lot of hard work to keep it there.”

Muhlenberg made sure it would not slip up in its first game as a member of the poll, striking for six runs in the first inning against the Patriots. Junior Joseph Vila brought home classmate John Muha with an RBI triple, then sophomore John Scuderi delivered a 2-RBI single to make it 4-0.

Finally, sophomore Brett Rosen and freshman Danny Usewick recorded back-to-back RBI doubles, Rosen’s a shot to the right center gap and Usewick’s a rocket just inside the third base line, to complete the inning. They were the first hit and RBI of Usewick’s career.

After allowing a single to the first batter of the game, junior Billy Rogers did not surrender a hit the rest of his outing. He struck out a career-high eight batters in his five innings of work to move to 3-1 on the year. Sophomore Pat Doolittle then came on and struck out three in two innings of hitless relief.

Muhlenberg added single runs in each of the second through fifth innings to move in front by 10.

With the game well in hand, the Mules were able to get some of their reserves valuable playing time.

John Scuderi
Scuderi has driven in five runs in the past three games. He now has 10 RBI on the year, making him the sixth Mule to reach double figures.
Johnson picked up his first career RBI on a single to right in the fifth, and junior Robert Appleby laced a sharply hit single over second base in the eighth for his first hit of the season.

Five of Muhlenberg’s 14 hits went for extra bases. It was the 12th time this season the Mules reached double figures in hits, and also the ninth time they’ve scored double digit runs.

Muhlenberg also made noise on the basepaths, stealing 13 bases – the second-most in a game in team history.

Muha ended his day a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate and scored three runs, and sophomore Nick Kennedy continued his hot streak with two hits and two runs scored. Sophomore Max Litvak and freshman Nick Plinio each drove in a run for the Mules.

It was a great way to celebrate their national recognition, Johnson said, adding it gave the team a chance to show off some of its depth.

And now that the Mules have tasted some success, he said they are hungry for a lot more.

“This was a good team win,” Johnson said. “We’re really deep this year, so it was good to get a lot of guys some work. You can get a little rusty on the bench, so it felt really good to get out there and get some swings and see some different guys hit the ball.

“We’re off to a good start, and hopefully we can keep playing well and move up.”
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