The Philadelphia University baseball team appeared headed for an easy win after taking a 6-0 lead after the first inning. However, the opener of this weekend's three-game series with the Chargers turned into a slugfest and the Rams were lucky to outlast a game Dominican College team with a 14-13 victory at Alumni Field this afternoon.
The Chargers came into the contest ranked tenth in the latest National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Division II Northeast Region poll.
Sophomore John Pugh worked one inning in relief to earn his first victory of the season. Starring at the plate for the Rams today was senior catcher Jason Hartley, who went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and a sacrifice.
In addition, junior starting pitcher Kyle Noonan belted a two-run homer after sophomore Rob Fisher singled to lead-off the bottom of the eighth inning, putting the Rams ahead 12-11.
The home team manufactured two more insurance runs in the frame to go up 14-11 heading into the top of the ninth. Little did the Rams know then how important the extra runs would be.
Fisher would move to the mound to close out the game, but the Chargers' back-to-back doubles to start the final inning, plus a base-hit two batters later, put the visitors on the brink of another comeback. After a walk and a fielder's choice put runners on first and third, the Rams' stopper got a groundout to end the game, earning his second save of the year.
The victory raises the Rams to 11-16 overall for the 2008 season and 10-4 in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) action, good to remain in second place in the league. With the loss, the Chargers fall to 18-19; 10-7 in conference play. The two teams meet again tomorrow to close out their three-game set with a twi-night doubleheader in Orangeburg, N.Y., beginning at 5:30 p.m.