Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Sunday, March 19, 2006
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The softball team’s scheduled doubleheader at Susquehanna was postponed. A makeup date will be announced on Monday.


The way the weekend was going, there was no way the finale of the Muhlenberg baseball team’s three-game series with Hartwick would have an ordinary ending.

It didn’t. Freshman Brad Auerbach and senior Chad
Hammond made his first career start in the doubleheader opener and was 4-for-5 with five RBI. He had seven hits, including three triples, in the doubleheader and reached base in nine of 13 plate appearances in the Hartwick series.
hit back-to-back inside-the-park home runs in the bottom of the sixth to lift the Mules to a come-from-behind 7-5 victory and a split of Sunday’s doubleheader.

The wild series featured 110 runs and 107 hits in three games. Before it started, Muhlenberg had never played a game in which both teams scored 20 runs, but that happened in each of the first two games. The Hawks (2-1) won Saturday’s series opener, 30-25, and hung on to win the first game of the doubleheader, 22-21, after the Mules (4-7) nearly came back from a 15-run deficit.

By comparison, Muhlenberg’s win was tame. Hartwick broke a 3-3 tie with two runs in the top of the sixth. In the bottom of the sixth, junior Matthew Block drew a one-out walk and advanced to third when junior Pete Oris laced a pinch-hit single to left.

The Hartwick outfielders had played deep for the first two games of the
Barrese has a staff-best 2.70 ERA in 16 2/3 innings.
series, but began to creep in when the Mules dropped in a number of bloop hits. Auerbach made them pay, lining the ball over the head of the centerfielder. The ball rolled all the way to the fence, allowing Auerbach to circle the bases. The three-run homer gave Muhlenberg a 6-5 lead.

Two pitches later, Hegstrom hit a nearly identical line drive over the centerfielder and steamed around the bases for his first career home run.

All that was left was for freshman Joseph Barrese to hold the lead in the seventh. The Hawks put two runners on, but Barrese retired the last two batters to sew up his first career complete game and pick up his second win in four days.

In the opener, Hartwick led 19-4 heading into the bottom of the fifth before Muhlenberg mounted its comeback. A three-run triple by freshman Eric Hammond was the big hit in an eight-run fifth inning that made the score 19-12. After sophomore Paul Faith struck out two batters with the bases loaded to keep the Hawks from scoring in the sixth, the Mules plated five more runs in the bottom of the inning to draw to within two.

Hartwick scored three times in the top of the seventh to go up 22-17. Muhlenberg loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the seventh. Hammond’s sacrifice fly sent home one run, and a two-run triple by junior Mike Hart made it 22-20 and brought the tying run to the plate.

Senior Matt Tobia hit a ground ball down the right-field line, but the Hawk first baseman made a diving stop and beat Tobia to the bag as Hart crossed the plate. The next batter struck out to end the comeback a run short.

Hart went 6-for-7 and drove in seven runs in the doubleheader. Auerbach was 5-for-7 with five runs scored.

Muhlenberg hit .482 in the three-game series and has a team batting average of .368 for the season.

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Last updated March 19, 2006