Fast Start Boosts Baseball Past Berks

Thursday, March 27, 2014 - page 2

Max Litvak
Litvak's 4-for-4 effort came one week short of the anniversary of his 6-for-6 game against Keuka last April 3.
On Saturday (or whenever Mother Nature allows its doubleheader against Washington to be played), the Muhlenberg baseball team will try to get its Centennial Conference season started on the right foot – something like the start it had in its final tuneup.

Junior Kurt Johnson hit the third pitch of the game for a home run, igniting a seven-run first inning, and the Mules achieved season highs in runs and hits in a 16-5 home win against Penn State Berks.

Matt Clarke
Freshman Troy Elias, sophomore Connor Annese and junior Matt Clarke each pitched a scoreless inning in relief to finish up the game. Clarke (pictured) tossed a 1-2-3 ninth, ending the game on a called third strike.
The seven-run first matched the Mules’ biggest opening inning of last year; the last time they scored more than seven in the first was in 2010 with an eight-run outburst against Dickinson. Johnson’s round-tripper, the second of his career, was the first leadoff homer by a Muhlenberg player since junior Jimmy Cody hit one in 2012.

Every player in the starting lineup had at least one hit, and every starter drove in at least one run except for Cody, who hit a double, and senior John Scuderi, who scored four runs. Senior Max Litvak went 4-for-4 to lead the 16-hit attack.

The Mules (7-8) sent 11 batters to the plate in the first inning, with seven consecutive hitters reaching base via hit or walk. Johnson had the rare opportunity for a two-homer inning when he came up with the bases loaded but settled for a sacrifice fly.

After doubles by Scuderi and Litvak brought in a run in the second, Muhlenberg batted around again in a five-run fourth that included an RBI double by junior Nick Plinio and Johnson’s third RBI of the game, on a two-out single.

Junior Chris Flynn’s two-run single highlighted a three-run seventh.
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