La Salle Holds Off Lafayette in Non-League Action
April 9, 2013
PHILADELPHIA - Despite a superb starting pitching performance by Mitch Leeds, La Salle rallied for four runs in the seventh inning and ultimately won, 9-6, on Tuesday afternoon at DeVincent Field. Andrew Landolfi continued to swing the bat well, going 3-for-5 with two RBI in the loss.
The Explorers batted around in the seventh inning and plated four runs on four singles, punctuated by Joey Ravert's two-run knock through the right side off freshman Ari Kaufman. Kaufman entered the game with two outs and inherited runners on the corners from Cory Spera. Justin Korenblatt singled to greet Kaufman before a free pass, Ravert's hit and George Smith Jr.'s RBI single pushed the lead to 6-4.
Leeds took the ball for Lafayette (6-26) and twirled five innings of one-run ball, allowing La Salle to record three hits. The freshman struck out two Explorers and walked another and was in line for his first career win as a starting pitcher. Leeds earned his first career victory in relief win this past Saturday against Holy Cross.
After a quiet first trip to the plate for each squad, the Leopards threatened with back-to-back singles by Alex Osuchowski and Campbell Lipe, before La Salle right-hander Shane Hollman retired Thomas Dunleavy on strikes and Tim Lazor grounded out to second.
Leeds retired the first five hitters he faced on the afternoon, prior to working around a walk and a single with two outs in the second inning. A 1-2-3 inning for Lafayette at the plate in the third preceded La Salle (12-17) being held to a single by Dan Klem in the home half of the frame as the game remained scoreless after three full innings.
Lafayette broke the ice in the fourth after a leadoff base hit by Kevin Casey and a 3-2 single to right field off Lipe's bat brought him home from second. Dunleavy followed up Lipe's hit with a double to the gap in right center, giving Lafayette a 2-0 lead.
La Salle's lone run in the fourth came by virtue of a sacrifice fly by Ryan Welling to cut the deficit in half, but Lafayette's bats came back with two more runs in the fifth. Lazor singled to open the inning and Landolfi, who came in hitting .583 over the last five games, brought him home with a single inside the third base bag. Three batters later, with runners at first and second and two away, Scott Kelleher delivered with an RBI through the left side to extend the cushion to 4-1. Hollman's day was complete after 4.2 innings, seven hits and four runs. He also struck out four and walked two.
Leeds polished off his start by getting La Salle in order to end the fifth and Lafayette was put down quietly in the top of the sixth by La Salle reliever Austin Clark. Clark fired 2.1 shutdown innings and gave up one hit, a double to Landolfi.
The Explorers took a run back in the bottom of the sixth and trailed 4-2 through six and a half before erupting for four runs in the seventh. Leading 6-4 in the eighth, Korenblatt added some necessary insurance in the form of a three-run homer to make it a 9-4 game.
Mike McLeod, who tossed a perfect eighth inning, ran into trouble closing out the game. A one-out walk set up a pinch-hit single by Brad Hopek to put runners at first and second for Landolfi. The rookie came through again with a run scoring single and Andrew Ruck made it 9-6 with an RBI of his own. Dominic Sgroi came out of the Explorers' bullpen and got Casey to ground into a fielder's choice for the second out, and Adam Cherry saved the game when Osuchowski lined out with the bases loaded.
Lafayette returns to action this weekend when it hosts Army for a four-game series at Kamine Stadium. Those games will be available to watch online at GoLeopards.com/allaccess