Kyle Davis and Ronnie Petito each hit and triple while Nick Kuklane became the third straight University of the Sciences pitcher to toss a complete game as the Devils baseball team rallied to defeat Caldwell College 6-2 Thursday afternoon at Richie Ashburn Field in Philadelphia.
The Devils improve to 8-16 overall and 4-8 in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference games. The Cougars fall to 9-18 overall and 7-5 in league games. The win also was the 64th win in a Devils uniform for Head Coach Frank Angeloni, moving him into sole possession of third place on the Devils all-time wins list. He had been tied with 2012 Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame inductee Joe Hindelang who recorded 63 wins in his five years as head coach (1978-1982).
After both Devils starters tossed complete games in yesterday's doubleheader loss at Bloomfield, Kuklane (2-1) tossed the third straight complete game effort, allowing just seven hits while walking two and striking out four. The senior right-hander gave up just two unearned runs and lowered his earned run average to a league leading 1.40.
Davis extended his hitting streak to six games with his triple in the fourth inning while Petito's three-bagger added a couple of insurance runs in the eight and was his second hit of the game. Eight of the Devils nine starters in the lineup had at least one hit with Petito and Connor Lennox getting two apiece.
Both teams scored runs as a result of an errors in their first at-bat. The Cougars got a leadoff double from Joe O'Donnell and came around to score on a ball hit by Jorge Ynoa that went right through the legs of Davis at shortstop for an error. The Devils evened the score in the bottom half of the first inning, taking advantage of two errors by the Cougars. Nick Szalejko launched a towering pop fly between the mound and first base that was dropped by Cougar pitcher Michael Sheridan resulting in a two-base error. Dennis Murphy then hit a hard shot right at the second baseman Tom Pisano, which went for a single. Murphy advanced to second and Sazalejko scored when Pisano misplayed the carom off his body, allowing the extra bases to be taken.
The Cougars regained the lead in the third after a single and stolen base by O'Donell and a walk to Ynoa was followed by a dropped fly ball off the bat of A Lopez by Devils rightfielder Connor Lennox, allowing O'Donnell to score and moving Ynoa to third giving the Cougars a 2-1 lead. The visitors were primed to add a few more in the top of the fourth but Kuklane got out of a bases-loaded jam unscathed.
Jon McMahon singled up the middle to lead off the fourth inning. Davis then worked the count full before crushing a pitch to the gap in left centerfield his third triple of the season, scoring McMahon with the tying run. Lennox followed with a bloop single to right field to bring home Davis with the go-ahead run.
Murphy's sacrifice fly in the seventh gave the Devils a 4-2 lead before Petito belted a one-out triple down the line in rightfield in the eighth to score Lennox (walk) andMike Gartland (hit by pitch) and give the Devils a 6-2 lead. Kuklane pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to end the game and earn his second win of the season. Sheridan fell to 1-3 with the loss.
The Devils return to action on Saturday, April 14, 2012 when they travel north to face Post University in a pivotal CACC doubleheader in Waterbury, Connecticut.