Baseball Win vs. Elizabethtown Is a Real Pick-Me-Up

Thursday, March 7, 2013 - page 2

The Muhlenberg baseball team led Elizabethtown 5-2 in the seventh inning, but momentum was shifting. The Blue Jays had scored both of their runs in the bottom of the sixth, and after the Mules loaded the bases with one out, Brett Rosen struck out for the second out.

Kurt Johnson
Johnson is hitting .321 with six RBI.
On his way off the field, Rosen said to the next batter, Kurt Johnson, “hey, pick me up.”

Johnson did just that, hitting a clutch two-run single to extend the lead to 7-2. Muhlenberg went on to score five more runs in the ninth and won, 12-3.

The Mules (6-2) picked each other up all through the order, tying a season high with 15 hits and scoring nine of their 12 runs with two out. Every player in the lineup had at least two hits, runs scored or RBI.

Sophomore Jimmy Cody drove in three runs with a home run and a two-run triple, and classmates Johnson and Danny Usewick also knocked in three apiece. Junior John Scuderi went 3-for-5 with a double.

That was plenty of offense for sophomore Christian Ferlan, who pitched into the eighth inning and allowed only two earned runs to pick up his first win of the season.

The decisive win against Elizabethtown – which was picked second in the Commonwealth Conference preseason poll – was just what the Mules needed after suffering the first loss of their Florida trip in the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader, followed by an off day.

“We were real anxious to get back out there,” said Johnson. “We heard that Elizabethtown beat Penn State Behrend, who got votes in the top 25 preseason poll, so we knew they were going to be tough. We came out early and took it to them.”

Cody broke the ice with his second career home run in the third, and Muhlenberg scored in each of the next four innings. Johnson was involved in an unusual play in the fourth when he scored all the way from first on a single by Usewick after a miscommunication between two Elizabethtown outfielders.

“There were two out and I was going with the crack of the bat. I wasn’t watching the ball so I just assumed it dropped in,” he explained. “As I rounded second, Coach kept waving so I kept running.”

Sophomore Nick Plinio had a two-out RBI single in the fifth, as did senior John Muha in the sixth. Muha, who is hitting .500, added another two-out RBI single in the ninth, just before Cody’s triple.

The Mules have reached double figures in runs in four of their last five games and are batting .336 as a team. Their pitchers, meanwhile, have a 2.75 ERA and have allowed only three extra-base hits all season.

“We’re feeling real well,” said Johnson. “We’ve been jumping out on teams early and pitching well. We’re really firing on all cylinders.”
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