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Baseball Suffers Two Late Losses at Chestnut Hill

Credit: David Broytman
Credit: David Broytman

PHILADELPHIA – The University of the Sciences baseball team led through at least five and a half innings of both games of a doubleheader at Chestnut Hill on Saturday, only to have the Griffins come back for two late 5-3 wins in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) action at Latshaw-McCarthy Field.

After Chestnut Hill overcame USciences with three runs in its last two at-bats in game one, the Devils recovered nicely to score two first-inning runs in game two.

Christian DeLuca led off with his third hit of the day, a double, and after two straight outs, Ryan Scholey and Kris Morgenweck worked back-to-back walks.  

Tom Aaron then put University of the Sciences ahead with a double.

Starter Eric Stratoti surrendered just two hits in his first three innings of work before the Griffins tied the score with two runs, one of which was unearned, in the fourth.

USciences had an immediate response though as DeLuca manufactured a two-out run with a hit by pitch and stolen base, before scoring on back-to-back wild pitches.

Stratoti kept Chestnut Hill at bay in the fifth, but a leadoff single in the sixth led to yet another comeback.

The Griffins tied the score on a one-out single and after a second out and a hit by pitch to load the bases, a clutch two-out single proved to be the game-winner despite USciences bringing the tying run to the plate twice in the top of seventh.

Stratoti's six innings were a season-long, as the senior worked around seven hits and three walks.

Game one starter Ryan Johnson, making just his second career start recovered spectacularly from a two-run first inning to allow just two earned in a career-high 6.1 innings. He scattered six hits and three walks, while striking out three.

University of the Sciences erased two Chestnut Hill first inning runs to come back and take a lead of its own with runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth.

The first two came on two-out doubles. Nate Steele doubled down the left field line in the fourth to score Nick Amicon, who had walked with one out, while Scholey's two-bagger to center field plated DeLuca after he had led off the frame with a single.

A Morgenweck leadoff walk in the sixth led to the go-ahead run. Aaron doubled to move him up to third and after an out, Frank D'Alessandro's sacrifice fly put USciences on top.

Johnson threw his fifth consecutive scoreless frame in the bottom-half – his third 1-2-3 inning – and USciences loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the seventh, only to fail to capitalize on an opportunity to cushion its advantage.

Johnson got the first out of the bottom of the seventh and even after a one-out single he got a ground ball for a potential second out, but an error opened the door for Chestnut Hill and the Griffins capitalized with a pinch-hit double to tie the game before a wild pitch gave them the lead back. 

Chestnut Hill then executed a double steal in the eighth for the game's final run.

Collin Fabio doubled with one-out in the top of the ninth to bring the potential tying run to the plate twice, but University of the Sciences could not come up with another base hit.

The Devils did however outhit Chestnut 8-7 behind multi-hit games from DeLuca and Scholey.

Morgenweck reached base three times with two walks and a hit. 

University of the Sciences makes its long-awaited home debut at Richie Ashburn Field on Tuesday, April 3 when it hosts Jefferson for a doubleheader at 1 p.m.