Baseball Doubles Its Pleasure in Sweep of F&M

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Softball Tennis, track & field Lacrosse

The Muhlenberg baseball team doubled its pleasure in Lancaster, tying the school record for doubles in a game in the opener of its doubleheader at Franklin & Marshall, then completing the sweep with a last-gasp rally in the second game.

Matthew Lawsky
Lawsky struck out five in his 8 1/3 innings to earn his fourth win of the season.
The sweep, by scores of 15-7 and 2-1, was the Mules’ first against the Diplomats since 1985, nine years before the start of Centennial Conference play. Coming a week after a sweep at McDaniel, it gave Muhlenberg (13-12, 6-3) sweeps of two CC road doubleheaders in the same season for the first time since 1999.

Muhlenberg is in sole possession of second place in the CC, the only team besides nationally ranked Gettysburg above .500 in league play.

The second game featured a stunning ending. The Mules were down 1-0 with two outs and nobody on in the top of the ninth when junior Danny Usewick singled. The next batter, freshman John Icaza doubled to bring in Usewick with the tying run. The throw to the plate got past the catcher, and the Diplomat pitcher, who was backing the play up, tried to get Icaza rounding the bag at second. But his throw went into the outfield, and Icaza came around to score.

Remarkably, it was the second time that Muhlenberg won a game in that fashion. Last Saturday at McDaniel, the winning run scored in the top of the 10th when an attempt to pick a runner off second following a play at another base sailed away.

Brett Rosen
Rosen, who hit a walkoff home run vs. F&M last year, reached base in three of five plate appearances in the opener, scoring two runs and driving in two.
The game wasn’t quite over yet. Junior Matthew Lawsky, who had allowed only two hits in the first eight innings, retiring 11 straight batters in one stretch, gave up a leadoff single in the bottom of the ninth. After a sacrifice, junior Phillip Balseca came in from the bullpen with the tying run in scoring position. He recorded a strikeout and a groundout to nail down his third save of the season.

The first game wasn’t so much a pitchers’ duel as a hitters’ duel. The teams combined for 22 runs, 31 hits and eight multiple-run innings. The Diplomats (11-16, 3-6) led 6-4 after five before the game started to swing the Mules’ way.

A double by senior Max Litvak – his second of the game – capped a three-run sixth that put Muhlenberg ahead to stay, 7-6.

Two more doubles, by junior Nick Plinio and Usewick, were part of a three-run seventh that made it 10-6. Plinio and seniors Brett Rosen and John Scuderi all doubled in a five-run ninth. The Mules totaled eight doubles in the game, tying the school record set against Baptist Bible in 2011.

Plinio led the 18-hit attack with a 4-for-5 effort. Litvak went 3-for-5, as did Icaza, who drove in four runs – the most by a Muhlenberg freshman since 2010.

The 15 runs were the most scored by the Mules in one game against F&M since 1949.
Click here for line scores.
Click for complete stats: Game 1 | Game 2