Baseball Holds Off Penn State Berks for 10th Win

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - page 2

Sophomore Nick Gies is called “Fish” by his teammates on the Muhlenberg baseball team, and in his first start of the 2013 season, he was a goldfish.

Tim Velys
Senior Tim Velys pitched a 1-2-3 eighth to earn a hold.
Gies tossed seven shining innings, allowing only one run and six hits, as the Mules withstood a late rally to defeat Penn State Berks, 9-7.

The win improves Muhlenberg’s record to 10-3, tying the third-fastest to 10 wins in program history. The Mules also started out 10-3 last year and have not made it to double digits earlier since 1928.

Gies retired the first seven hitters to face him and allowed more than one hit in only two innings. He struck out just two but got 12 outs on ground balls.

The righty worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the third thanks to a nice play at second by sophomore Chris Manfredonia. He also struck out a hitter with a runner on third and nobody out in the sixth before giving up his lone run.

“I felt really good. Early on I could get all my pitches over for strikes,” said Gies, who has allowed only seven hits and one earned run in 13 2/3 innings this year. “Brett [Rosen] called a great game. We were just cruising.”

They were cruising with a lead thanks to two big extra-base hits. In the bottom of the second, junior John Scuderi brought in the first run of the game with a triple to the gap in right-center and scored on Rosen’s groundout.

Senior Jimmy Aramanda, who came around from first on Scuderi’s triple, got to run at a more leisurely pace in the bottom of the sixth when he hit a curving ball down the leftfield line that barely stayed fair for his second career home run, giving Muhlenberg a 4-1 lead.

Jimmy Cody
Sophomore Jimmy Cody stole his eighth base of the season in the first.
The Mules appeared to break the game wide open in the bottom of the eighth when they scored five runs. The big hit was a two-run double by sophomore Kurt Johnson. But the Nittany Lions (3-6) plated six runs in the top of the ninth and brought the tying run to the plate before senior Ryan Rechten struck out the final two hitters for his 10th career save.

Scuderi went 3-for-4, while Aramanda had two hits and scored three runs. Senior Joseph Vila was 2-for-4 with his 90th career RBI, and classmate John Muha led off the bottom of the first with his 150th career hit.

The win made for a successful return to the diamond for the Mules, who waited out three postponements since they last played a week ago.

“It was frustrating,” admitted Gies. “We came back from Florida, where it’s perfect weather, and here there’s snow. We just want to play baseball.

“We came out excited today. A lot of people were done with classes early and they came here to get the field ready,” he added. “It was good to get the game in, and it was good to get the W.”
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