Baseball Season Ends Just Short of Championship Series

Saturday, May 3, 2014 - page 3

The Muhlenberg baseball team came up on the short end of pair of tight Centennial Conference playoff games and saw its season come to an end a game short of the championship series. The Mules dropped a 2-1 decision at top-seeded Gettysburg in the morning and suffered an 8-6 setback against second-seeded Haverford in their second contest of the day.

David Anderson In the postseason for the first time in six years, Muhlenberg finished the 2014 campaign with a record of 17-20-1. Two days after notching their first playoff victory since 2003 at Haverford, the third-seeded Mules couldn’t quite get over the hump to avoid elimination. Gettysburg will host the Fords on Sunday, with two opportunities to capture the CC crown.

The day began with a pitchers’ duel against the host Bullets, ranked No. 21 in Division III. Junior David Anderson (left) turned in a sparkling performance on the mound, going the distance and allowing only two runs, one of them unearned. The right-hander, who struck out one and didn’t walk a batter, surrendered back-to-back base hits in the bottom of the sixth, and two batters later Gettysburg (33-6) plated the go-ahead run with a groundout after a sacrifice advanced the runners to second and third.

The Mules managed only three hits against the Bullets starter and were unable to put a runner on base in the final three innings, dropping into an elimination rematch with the Fords.

Nick Kennedy Like Thursday, the Mules got off to a fast start, jumping out to a 4-1 lead by plating three runs in the top of the fourth. Seniors Max Litvak and Brett Rosen started the frame with consecutive base knocks, and junior Kurt Johnson, who had two of the team’s three hits in the opener, moved them up a base with a sacrifice. Junior Nick Plinio then came through with a two-run triple, his first three-bagger in two years, to make it 3-1. Senior Nick Kennedy followed with an RBI single through the left side.

Haverford (20-18) answered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning before grabbing the lead with two more in the fifth. Muhlenberg pulled even in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by freshman John Icaza, but the Fords took advantage of two errors and responded with three unearned runs in the bottom of the inning to make it 8-5.

Down to its last three outs of the season, Muhlenberg didn’t go down quietly, loading the bases with one out on a trio of walks. A fourth free pass – this one to Kennedy with two down – brought in a run and put the tying run on second, but a groundout ended the threat and the Mules’ season.

Plinio finished with a career-high four hits against Haverford, adding a double to his run-scoring triple and scoring a pair of runs. Kennedy (right) was 2-for-4 with two RBI, and seniors Litvak and John Scuderi each had two hits and a run scored in their final collegiate game.
Click here for line scores.
Click for complete stats: Gettysburg game | Haverford game