Baseball Splits at Lafayette on Sunday

Box Score (Game 1)

Box Score (Game 2)

EASTON, Pa. - The Quaker bats came alive on Sunday, as Penn scored 22 runs in two games to earn a split with Lafayette, losing the first game 9-8 before taking the second game 14-3.

The Red and Blue were poised to win the first game, but six errors cost Penn in the 9-8 loss. In the second game of the day, sophomore Chris McNulty kept the Leopards at bay and the offense put 14 runs on the board. McNulty went the distance, scattering seven hits over nine innings while striking out six and walking one. Offensively, junior Mike Mariano went 3-for-5 with five runs scored and three RBI.

In the opener, it was Lafayette who got on the board first as they put two unearned runs on the board after half an inning. Penn, however, did them better in the top of the second.

William Gordon led off the inning with a double and came around to score on a one-out single to centerfield by Tom Grandieri. Consecutive singles by Mariano and Derek Vigoa tied the game at two. With two down, James Mraz doubled home both runners and then advanced to third on a balk. He scored on an error by the shortstop to make it 5-2 before a groundout ended the scoring.

A run by Lafayette in the bottom of the third made it 5-3, but Penn countered with a run scoring single by Emilio Pastor in the top of the fourth to push the lead back to three.

The Leopards responded in the bottom of the fourth, but the Quakers had an answer once again, putting two on the board courtesy of a Grandieri two-run shot to left center.

Penn's lead stood at 8-4, however three errors in the fifth inning proved to be critical. The Quakers committed two errors before getting an out, as all five runs were unearned. A run-scoring double and a three-run homer tied the game at eight apiece, chasing starter Paul Cusick. Reid Terry entered and promptly gave up a single. Another error allowed the runner to reach third, and he scored the go-ahead run on a single by Matt Hall.

In the top of the sixth, Penn went down in order. Trey Jennings went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the frame, leaving the Red and Blue had one more chance to tie the game. Singles by Gordon and Grandieri put runners on first and third with two down but a groundout ended the game.

Penn didn't wait long to take the lead in the second game of the day, scoring four times in the top of the second. The first two runners reached and Mariano went yard for the first time this year to make it a 3-0 contest. A one-out single by Steve Gable pushed the lead to 4-0.

The Quakers added to their lead an inning later as both Gordon and Grandieri reached before coming around to score. McNulty, meanwhile, saw just two batters over the minimum through the first three. In the fourth the southpaw saw his scoreless innings streak end at 12 as two runners crossed to cut the Penn advantage to 6-2.

There would be no let down in this one, as the Red and Blue tacked six runs on the board in the top of the fifth to put the game out of reach. The team was helped out by a pair of Leopard errors as they strung five hits together in the inning to make it a 12-2 ballgame.

McNulty went to work from there, allowing one run the rest of the game while striking out five Lafayette batters. Penn added a run in the sixth and the eighth for the final 14-3 margin. The complete game was the third of McNulty's career and marked the second consecutive start in which he walked one batter and fanned six.

Cusick also pitched well in the first game, going 4.2 innings and allowing just one earned run. He struck out four and walked three in the game. Five different players had more than three hits on the day, while Mariano and Grandieri each scored five times. James Mraz had a team-high four RBI in the two contests.

With the split, the Quakers move to 8-9 on the season. Penn returns to action on Tuesday when they play Saint Joseph's at Meiklejohn Stadium. The Hawks will serve the home team on Tuesday as they field is not available to play on. Live stats will be available for the contest.