La Salle Tops Leopards in Liberty Bell Classic
April 2, 2013
EASTON, Pa. - A four-run fourth inning and a solid pitching performance by La Salle helped the Explorers claim a 6-2 victory over Lafayette in the Liberty Bell Classic on Tuesday afternoon at Kamine Stadium.
La Salle (9-15) racked up 11 base hits, three by Ryan Welling, and rode Mark Williams' three-run homer to the win. Andrew Landolfi paced the Leopards (5-22) with a 2-for-4 offensive performance.
Lafayette's Ari Kaufman took the mound for the Leopards and pitched a pair of scoreless innings to keep the game tied through the first two frames. La Salle threatened in the second inning with two outs and runners on first and second for George Smith Jr. The Explorers' centerfielder bounced a single through the left side that bounced off the glove of Landolfi at shortstop before going into left field. Andrew Ruck picked up the ball and fired it into third base, retiring Welling, who tried to advance from first on the hit. The out was recorded before La Salle's lead runner could cross the plate and Kaufman stranded two in his final inning of work.
La Salle's Williams gave up only one hit, a single to Kevin Casey, in his first two innings on the mound before doing some damage with the bat in the top of the third. La Salle had two on and had already sent one home before Williams deposited Robert Tatum's pitch over the left center-field fence. The Explorers' pitcher hit the ball out, despite the windy conditions at Kamine Stadium, and put them ahead 4-0.
Following a scoreless third for the Pards, Ruck kept the deficit at 4-0 with a sliding catch down the left field line and doubled off Welling at first base to end the inning. Ruck started the next inning with a single, before Casey and Campebell Lipe were plunked to load the bases. At that point Williams was lifted for right-hander Mike McLeod, who was greeted immediately with an RBI base hit through the left side by Zach Gross to make it 4-1. McLeod settled down and struck out the next three hitters to leave the bases loaded.
The Explorers packed the bags in the top of the fifth against Cory Spera, who fired a scoreless fourth in relief, before Lafayette called on Mitch Leeds with one out. Leeds induced Williams to ground to shortstop, but everyone was safe on the fielder's choice when Landolfi elected to try to get an out at second base. Down 5-1, Leeds then escaped without any further damage when Landolfi started a successful 6-4-3 double play.
The visitors pushed across an unearned run off Leeds their next time up, before Landolfi drilled an RBI double to the gap in left to trim the margin to 6-2. A walk to Santomauro put runners on the corners with two gone for Thomas Dunleavy, but he grounded out to shortstop to end the threat.
The score held at 6-2 after Casey tossed a scoreless inning for the Leopards and Adam Cherry followed up with a perfect frame for the Explorers. Casey finished off the game for Lafayette and allowed three hits in his three innings, while striking out five. Cherry gave up just one run in his three innings on two Lafayette hits before Pat Christensen fired a 1-2-3 ninth inning to close the door.
Lafayette resumes its Patriot League schedule on Saturday when it welcomes Holy Cross to Kamine Stadium for a four-game series. First pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for Noon and the games can be seen live on GoLeopards.com/allaccess