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Leopards Spilt Twinbill with Extra-Inning Victory

March 24, 2013

Game 1 (HTML) | Game 1 (PDF)Game 2 (HTML)Game 2 (PDF)

PHILADELPHIA – Two runs in the top of the 10th inning and three shutout innings by Toby Schwartz out of the bullpen propelled Lafayette to an 8-6 win in game two of Sunday’s doubleheader against Penn. The win salvaged a split of the Sunday twinbill after Penn won in walk-off fashion in the first contest.

Schwartz entered the tie game in the bottom of the eighth and kept it that way by leaving the bases loaded. The sophomore left-hander gave up one hit in a scoreless ninth before slamming the door with three strikeouts after Lafayette scored twice in the top of the inning. The Leopards scored the aforementioned runs when Alex Osuchowski drew a bases loaded walk and Andrew Santomauro crossed the plate on Ronnie Glenn’s wild pitch.

Schwartz earned his first win of the year, while Glenn was saddled with the loss for Penn (12-7).

The entire game was a seesaw battle as Lafayette scored twice in its first trip to the plate thanks to Kevin Casey’s single that chased home Andrew Ruck, who doubled in the previous at bat, and a sacrifice fly to right field off the bat of Campbell Lipe that scored Casey.

Penn quickly countered and tied it up with a solo blast by Brandon Englehardt before Austin Bossart served a single into left field to drive in Spencer Branigan, who reached on a base knock to keep the inning going.

Penn right-hander Pat Bet let Lafayette’s first two hitters reach safely in the second inning before a sac bunt moved both into scoring position and Santomauro’s flyout was deep enough to put Lafayette (3-17) ahead 3-2. Mitch Leeds then shut down Penn’s offense in the bottom half of the frame by working around a leadoff walk, but the Quakers took a 4-3 lead in the third when Ryan Deitrich launched a two-run homer over the left-field fence.

A scoreless fourth preceded Lafayette’s two-run fifth in which Zach Gross and Parker Hills each delivered run-scoring singles to reclaim the lead for Lafayette. It was, short-lived, however, as Penn wasted no time in tying the game at 5-5 on a groundout off the bat of Matt McKinnon.

The score remained the same until the bottom of the seventh when Branigan laced a double to right-center field off Ari Kaufman, who gave up only one run in three solid innings in relief of Leeds. The two-bagger brought home Michael Vilardo after he led off the seventh with a walk.

Lafayette threatened to take the lead in the next half inning by loading the bases with nobody out, but only managed to even the score at 6-6 when Casey grounded into a double play.

The first game of the day had its share of excitement as well, including a four-run seventh inning by Lafayette to put the Leopards up 6-4. Penn answered, though, with three runs in the bottom half of the frame to escape game one with a walk-off 7-6 victory.

Down to its final out on three different occasions, Lafayette climbed out of a 4-2 hole and took a 5-4 lead on Osuchowski’s two-run pinch-hit triple in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Leopards added an insurance run when Brad Hopek singled home Osuchowski to give the visitors a 6-4 advantage as Penn came to bat for the final time.

On the mound, Casey went strikeout, walk, and strikeout to set up a one-on, two-out situation before a double and another free pass loaded the bases for the Quakers. A third base-on-balls trimmed Lafayette’s lead to 6-5, before Englehardt sent a batted ball toward Scott Kelleher at third base. An error at the hot corner allowed the tying and winning runs to cross the plate for Penn as the Leopards dropped their third straight game to the Quakers, and eighth overall.

Prior to the comeback, the game was tied at 2-2 at the end of five innings following Kelleher’s run-scoring single to left in the top of the fourth and an unearned tally the next time up. Penn scored its first two runs on a bases loaded walk in the first and a double-steal of second and home by Gary Tesch and Ryan Mincher, an inning later, against Leopards’ starter Michael Massa.

Before the Leopards four-run outburst, Penn struck with a pair of doubles in the sixth to plate two runs.

Lafayette returns to the diamond on Tuesday when its hosts Seton Hall. First pitch from Kamine Stadium is slated for 3:30 p.m.