Baseball Rallies Past Penn, 5-4
March 25, 2011
PHILADELPHIA - A two-out single by junior shortstop Brian Davila broke a 4-4 tie in the seventh inning and propelled the Lafayette baseball team to a 5-4 win at Penn on Friday afternoon. Senior right fielder Alex Bechta drove in two runs on the day, and junior southpaw Sean McGrath tossed three hitless innings of relief to earn the win.
With the victory, the Leopards improve to 5-11. Penn drops to 6-9. Though the game was played at the Quakers' Meiklejohn Stadium in Philadelphia, Lafayette was designated as the home team, as the game was originally slated to be played at Kamine Stadium.
Bechta reached base three times for the Leopards, drawing a pair of walks in addition to his RBI double and RBI groundout. Senior centerfielder Rob Froio was the only Lafayette player with two hits. Froio's day included a triple, a stolen base and two runs scored. Senior Matt Fenster also drove in a run for the Leopards.
McGrath (1-1) allowed just one baserunner over the final three innings of work. He retired the final eight batters he faced in relief of Zach Fritz. The senior right-hander allowed seven hits and four earned runs over the first six frames. Fritz racked up four strikeouts - moving into the all-time top-10 at Lafayette - and issued a pair of walks.
The Leopards starting the scoring in the first inning, as Froio led off with a triple to right field and scored on a Bechta groundout to give Lafayette an early 1-0 lead.
Penn tied the game in the top of the second inning the claimed a 3-1 lead on a third-inning home run off the bat of Will Davis.
Another productive out resulted in a Lafayette run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Sophomore Scott Kelleher led off the frame with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. After a passed ball brought him 90 feet closer to scoring, Fenster grounded to shortstop to bring him home and cut the lead to 3-2.
A solo home run by Spencer Branigan extended the Penn lead to 4-2 in the top of the sixth inning, but the Leopards battled back to tie the score in the bottom of the inning. Froio singled up the middle to lead off the inning and stole second base - moving to third on the theft via a fielding error. Bechta followed with a double to plate Froio and, two batters later, Miller singled to tie the score at 4-4.
After McGrath silenced the Quakers' bats in the top of the seventh, the Leopards took the lead in their next trip to the plate. Sophomore Kevin Casey drew a leadoff walk and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Brad Hopek. The next batter was Davila, who singled up the middle to bring home to go-ahead run.
McGrath was flawless on the hill for the remainder of the contest to close the door on a 5-4 victory.
Vince Voiro (1-3) started and took the loss for Penn. He allowed five runs (three earned) on eight hits over 6.2 frames on the hill. He struck out five batters and walked two.
The Leopards will return to Meiklejohn Stadium tomorrow for a doubleheader with Penn. First pitch is slated for noon.
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