March 25, 2008
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -
After trailing for much of the game, the Lafayette baseball team (10-6) used a three-run eighth inning to earn a 6-5 come-from-behind win over Penn in the opening round of the Liberty Bell Classic. Three Lafayette batters had multiple hits in the game, including the game winner from sophomore A.J. Pisarri.
Pisarri knocked in two of the three eighth-inning runs, including the game-tying and game-winning runs. Freshman Rob Froio went 2-for-5 on the day with two runs scored and an RBI. Chris Luick and Dan Bierce both had two hits and scored one run apiece.
Ryan Hanna started the game for the Leopards but lasted just 2.2 innings, allowing four runs on six hits. Four relievers combined to hold the Quakers to just one run for the remainder of the game. Brian Mostek pitched two innings of shutout ball to earn the win, his third of the season.
Penn (6-7) took a 3-0 lead in the first inning as Tom Grandieri led off the inning with the double and scored on a Kyle Armeny single with one out to make it a 1-0 game. William Gordon came to bat with two outs and one runner on base and hit a two-run home run to left field to give the Quakers the early three-run lead. The Quakers added a run in the third as Armeny hit a one-out home run to right field off Hanna.
Lafayette scored its first run of the game in the fifth inning off of two hits. Bierce hit a leadoff single to third base and came around to score on Froio's double to left field, cutting Penn's lead to 4-1.
Penn got back that run in the sixth inning after Dan Williams knocked a leadoff single to right centerfield and advanced to second on a wild pitch Corey Shea
, who had entered the game in the fifth inning. Steve Gable sent Williams home with a single to left center, giving Penn the 5-1 lead.
Two Lafayette runs in the seventh inning made it a two-run game. Froio, Tom Hayes and Luick led off the inning with back-to-back-to-back singles to load the bases. Justin Shepherd reached base on a fielder's choice, scoring Froio to make the score 5-2. Joe Ezekiel's RBI two-out single to left field sent Hayes home and cut Penn's lead to 5-3.
Lafayette took the lead in the eighth inning, scoring three unearned runs on one hit. The Leopards loaded the bases with one out and Tom Ambrosole drew a walk, scoring Froio who had reached on a fielder's choice. Pisarri followed Ambrosole's walk with a single to center field for two RBI, plating Luick and Hayes, giving Lafayette the 6-5 edge.
Mostek entered the game in the bottom of the eighth inning and found himself facing a bases loaded situation after surrendering a leadoff double and hitting a batter. An error by Pisarri put the third Quaker runner on base and with one out, Gable reached on a fielder's choice but third baseman Jeff Butler got Williams out at home plate to keep it a 6-5 ballgame. Mostek then got Armeny to strike out swinging to escape the inning without allowing a run. After giving up a leadoff double in the bottom of the ninth inning, Mostek recorded three-straight outs to secure the 6-5 Lafayette win.
The Leopards will open both their home season and Patriot League play with doubleheaders against Navy on Saturday and Sunday. Both days are scheduled to begin at 12 p.m.
- The all-time series now stands at 49-42 in favor of Lafayette.
- Lafayette has now won three-straight games against the Quakers and six of the last eight meetings.
- Joe Ezekiel extended his hit streak to five games.
- Rob Froio, who entered the game leading all Patriot League rookies in stolen bases, swiped one base against the Quakers and now has seven on the season.
- The Leopards, who entered the game tied for the league lead with a 5.11 ERA, lowered their team ERA to 5.10.