Baseball Can't Hold Off Penn in Doubleheader
March 26, 2011
PHILADELPHIA - Yesterday, the Lafayette baseball team rallied to a 5-4 win against Penn in Philadelphia. The Quakers returned the favor in both ends of a doubleheader today at Meiklejohn Stadium, claiming victories by scores of 5-4 and 11-6. Seniors A.J. Miller and Alex Bechta each drove in three runs in the twinbill.
With the pair of losses, Lafayette falls to 5-13. Penn improves to 8-9 with the sweep.
Bechta and senior Matt Fenster each had four hits in the doubleheader. Bechta smacked three doubles, while Miller added his fifth home run of the season. The roundtripper, which gave the Leopards a 6-5 lead late in game two, moved the senior catcher into the all-time top-10 at Lafayette with 15 career homers.
Junior right-hander John Gentile (0-4) and junior southpaw Sean McGrath (1-2) took the losses on the mount. Gentile allowed five runs (three earned) on nine hits in a six-inning complete game to open the day. He struck out three batters and walked two.
McGrath, who tossed three hitless innings to earn the win yesterday, pitched out of a jam with the score tied and a runner on third base in the seventh inning, but allowed five earned runs on six hits in the eighth to suffer the loss. In total, he worked one inning and did not record a walk or a strikeout.
The Leopards jumped out to a 4-0 lead two innings into game one, fueled by RBI singles from Kelleher and Fenster and a two-run double off the bat of Bechta. Lafayette would manage just two hits the rest of way, however, as Penn notched one run in the third, two in the fourth and finally two unearned tallies in the fifth to take a 5-4 lead.
The score held into the top of the seventh and final inning. Miller led off the frame with a single and moved to second on a Fenster sacrifice bunt, where he was replaced by freshman Andrew Santomauro. However, Penn's Cody Thomson induced a strikeout and a harmless pop-up to close the door on a Quakers' win.
Thomson's first save of the season came in relief of Paul Cusick (2-2), who allowed four runs on seven hits over the first six innings. He struck out seven batters and walked three.
The Quakers struck first in the nightcap with a run in the first inning, but a passed ball and an RBI single from Casey in the fourth frame put Lafayette on top, 2-1. A three-run home run by Penn's Dan Williams gave the lead back to the home team in the bottom of the inning, and a Bechta double and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Miller quickly knotted the score at 4-4.
A double by Will Davis gave the advantage back to the Quakers at 5-4, which held into the top of the seventh inning. The Lafayette rally came with two outs, as Bechta singled up the middle and Miller followed with a two-run blast to right field. The roundtripper put Lafayette back on top, 6-5, as Miller increased his two-out RBI total to 15; the senior catcher also leads the Leopards in total RBI with 20.
A lead-off triple for Penn in the bottom of the seventh bore the tying run - though Jack Rems, Jeff Snell and McGrath combined to limit the damage to just one tally. Penn struck again to take the lead for good in the bottom of the eighth frame. The Quakers rallied to the tune of five runs to extend the score to its eventual final of 11-6.
Thomson (2-2) returned out of the bullpen to earn the win for Penn. He pitched the final two innings, allowing just one hit. He struck out a batter and did not issue a walk.
The Leopards are back in action on Tuesday, March 29, traveling to Villanova for opening round action in the Liberty Bell Classic. First pitch from Plymouth Meeting, Pa. is slated for 3:30 p.m.
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