This Time, Baseball Comeback vs. Swarthmore Falls Short

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - page 2

Joseph Vila
Vila's RBI was the 75th of his career.
When the Muhlenberg baseball team started stringing together base runners in the top of the ninth against Swarthmore, a feeling of déjà vu started to form as thoughts drifted back to last season, when the Mules beat the Garnet thanks to a big late-inning comeback capped by a walkoff home run.

But lightning did not strike twice, and Swarthmore held on for an 8-6 win.

With Muhlenberg (18-13, 2-7) trailing by five, sophomore John Scuderi led off the final inning by reaching on an error. Pinch-hitter Nick Plinio hit a sharp comebacker that bounced off the pitcher’s glove, and he was able to beat the throw to put runners at first and second with no outs.

Junior John Muha hit a line-drive double to the right-center gap to plate Scuderi and move Plinio to third. Two batters later, Plinio scored on a groundout by senior Nick Busillo to make it 8-5.

Swarthmore (17-10, 3-6) appeared to have the win in hand when senior Brian Beck stung a line drive right at the right fielder. But the ball was dropped, scoring Muha and bringing the potential game-tying run to the plate.

But the Garnet induced a groundout in the next at-bat to stop the rally and end the game.

After falling behind by two early, Muhlenberg tied the game in the fourth on Busillo’s looping RBI double to left center and an RBI single through the right side by freshman Chris Manfredonia.

But three Garnet runs in each of the fourth and sixth innings would prove to be enough.

Muhlenberg’s other run was almost two when junior Joseph Vila drove a towering shot to dead center that just missed going out in the fifth. But on a day when winds whipped out for much of the game, they were relatively calm during Vila’s at-bat, and the ball hit off the top of the fence for his 10th career triple. Muha scored on the play; he finished the day with two hits and two runs scored.
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