Head Coach Mark Heineman's Philadelphia University baseball team split today's doubleheader with visiting Caldwell College, coming from four runs behind to score a comeback 5-4 win in game one; then falling 9-4 in game two.
The Cougars came into this week ranked number four in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Division II Northeast Regional poll. However, the Rams were able to notch a 5-1 win at Caldwell in Parsippany, N.J. on Tuesday, April 8 to go along with today's win in game one of the twinbill to win the season series two games to one versus the Cougars.
Senior right-hander Andrew Bednarek (Sea Isle City, N.J./Ocean City; pictured) pitched two-thirds of an inning of clutch relief to earn his first win of the season in today's opener.
As mentioned, the Rams were down 4-0, heading into the bottom of the third inning in game one at Alumni Field today. They got one run back in that frame when senior shortstop Zach Mentzer (Gettysburg, Pa./Delone Catholic) led off with a double and two batters later his brother, sophomore second baseman Tyler Mentzer (Gettysburg, Pa./Delone Catholic), knocked him home with a base hit to get Philadelphia University on the board.
Then the Rams rallied with two outs in both the fifth and sixth innings to manufacture two runs in each of those stanzas to take the 5-4 advantage. In the seventh and final inning, sophomore first baseman Rob Fisher (Langhorne, Pa./Archbishop Ryan) moved from his corner infield spot to his other position on the mound. After hitting the first batter he faced, Fisher calmly retired the next two Cougar hitters, ending the game on a lineout double play performed to perfection by the expert Mentzer Bros., Inc. middle infield unit. The timely relief pitching and the aid of his defense earned Fisher his first career save and the first save in seven wins for the Rams this season.
The nightcap wasn't as kind to the Rams, as sophomore hurler Brian Rousseau (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh) and his bullpen mate Mark Pierfy (Trenton, N.J./Nottingham) struggled with control, yielding a combined seven hits, six bases on balls, five wild pitches and one hit batsman.
Sophomore right fielder Adric Saxon (Coral Springs, Fla./Broward CC) provided essentially all the offense required by Caldwell in the second game, belting a one-out grand slam home run in the top of the second after the hit batter was sandwiched by two of the walks.
With the split, the Rams are now 7-15 overall and 6-3 in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) play, remaining in second place in the league standings. The Cougars are now 17-13 in all games and 11-6 in conference action; good for third place behind Philadelphia University.
The Rams are back in action tomorrow on the green grass of Alumni Field, hosting nearby CACC foe Chestnut Hill College for two scheduled seven-inning contests. The doubleheader with the Griffins gets underway at 12:00 noon.