Baseball Leads Off Conference Play with Win at Ursinus

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - page 2

As the leadoff batter, it’s Jimmy Cody’s job to get things started for the Muhlenberg baseball team’s potent offense. And by doing his job very well, he helped the Mules got their conference season started the right way.

Cody reached base and scored in each of his first five plate appearances as Muhlenberg opened Centennial Conference play with an 11-5 win at Ursinus.

“I just try to get on base any way I can and let the guys behind me get some RBI,” said the freshman, who batted in the middle of the order

Austin Cush
Freshman Austin Cush relieved Shannon in the seventh and pitched a scoreless eighth.
last year as a senior in high school and started this season hitting ninth in the Mule lineup. “With our offense, if I get on with no outs, odds are I’ll probably score.”

The odds proved accurate in the first inning, when Cody led off with a single to left. He came around to score the first run of the game on a two-out RBI single by sophomore Nick Kennedy.

The Bears (8-10) went ahead with two in the bottom of the second, but Muhlenberg (16-6) took the lead right back in the top of the third, when Cody led off with a double to ignite a three-run rally. Senior Nick Busillo and sophomore Brett Rosen had RBI singles in the inning, and a third run scored on a wild pickoff throw.

Cody, who is batting .365 in his 11 games

Nick Busillo
Busillo leads the Mules with 28 RBI.
as the leadoff hitter, walked and scored in the fourth, singled and scored in the sixth and got hit by a pitch and scored on a balk in the seventh, helping the Mules build a 10-3 lead. The five runs scored by Cody were one short of the school record and were half of the first 10 put up by an offense that entered the week ranked 11th in Division III in scoring.

“Our offense has been able to score in pretty high numbers consistently, and it really takes the pressure off the defense and the pitching staff,” said Cody. “It’s really good to know that if we give up two or three runs, we can usually get them back.”

Junior Rob Shannon gave up four runs (only two earned) in earning his fifth win of the season. He pitched into the seventh inning for the sixth time in seven starts, striking out four and picking off his seventh runner.

Muhlenberg added one more run in the eighth, and for the first time Cody wasn’t a part of the scoring. The only player involved was senior Nick Busillo, who belted a tape-measure home run to center for his fifth round-tripper of the season.

Junior John Muha went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs, and Busillo and Kennedy each knocked in a pair for the Mules, who instead of leaving Ursinus with a one-run loss, as they had the last three years, returned home 1-0 in the CC.

“It was important to set a tempo for the conference and let everyone know we’re serious about winning,” said Cody. “It’s good to get that first one under our belts so we don’t have to worry about it. We can just go on to the next game.”
Click here for line score.
Click here for complete stats.