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Muhlenberg College

Friday, March 19, 2010

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cycle, comeback don’t add up to win

Best known for housing the Jack Cust Baseball Academy and Jennie Finch Softball Academy, Diamond Nation in Flemington, N.J., is also a great place to go cycling.

Just ask Joseph DiCecilia, who became the first Joseph DiCecilia Muhlenberg baseball player in more than a half-century to hit for the cycle in the Mules’ 13-11 loss to St. John Fisher in the opener of a three-game series.

DiCecilia went 5-for-5 and drove in five runs en route to only the third recorded cycle in Muhlenberg baseball history. The last was by Bill Kern – who went on to play in the Major Leagues – against St. Joseph’s in 1954.

DiCecilia’s hits were instrumental in the Mules coming back from an early deficit. The game couldn’t have started off worse, as the first three Cardinal batters walked and the fourth hit an opposite-field grand slam.

A two-run homer in the top of the third made it 6-0 before Muhlenberg (5-6) began its comeback. DiCecilia’s two-out, three-run triple cut the deficit in half, and sophomore Jesse Nusbaum followed with a pop fly that fell in for a double to make it 6-4.

St. John Fisher (6-3) extended its lead to 9-4 with three in the top of the fifth. In the bottom of the inning, DiCecilia belted his second home run of the year, a two-run blast to straightaway center.

It was 11-7 when DiCecilia led off the bottom of the seventh with a single up the middle. He eventually scored on junior Jeff Puklin’s two-out, two-run single, and senior Dan Fisher followed with an RBI single to bring the Mules within a run.

DiCecilia completed his cycle by doubling off the fence in right-center with one out in the eighth. Nusbaum, the next batter, singled up the middle to drive DiCecilia home with the tying run.

Muhlenberg’s comeback from a six-run deficit brought back to mind last year’s game against St. John Fisher in which the Mules scored seven times in the bottom of the ninth to pull out a miraculous 10-9 win. But there was no happy ending this time, as the Cardinals scored two unearned runs in the top of the ninth, the lead run scoring when a batter was called safe on a close play at first after the Mules had appeared to turn an inning-ending double play.

Puklin and Fisher each had three hits for Muhlenberg.
Click here for line score.
Click here for complete stats.

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