NORRISTOWN, Pa. – The Philadelphia University baseball team suffered a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) sweep at the hands of Chestnut Hill College, 5-4 and 4-2, Wednesday afternoon at Latshaw-McCarthy Stadium.
Dan Klusman (Wilmington, Del./St. Elizabeth) was the bright spot in the Philadelphia (8-17, 6-8 CACC) offense as he recorded five hits in seven at-bats and drove in three runs. David McTaggart (Wilmington, Del./St. Elizabeth) had one hit in both ends of the twinbill.
Philadelphia's Casey O'Donnell (Hatboro, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) and Chestnut Hill's Patrick Kelley traded zeros over the first five innings of game one. During that time, Chestnut Hill was held to three hits, while Philadelphia recorded two.
The Rams broke the scoreless deadlock with two two-out runs to take the lead. McTaggart started the frame by singling to left field. He reached second on a Zack Agan (Burnt Hills, N.Y./Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) sacrifice bunt and advanced to third on a Brandon Quaranta (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Arlington) groundout. Klusman made sure that McTaggart wouldn't be stranded on third as he ripped a single through the left side of the infield for the game's first run. Two batters later, Michael Melendez (Lansdale, Pa./Christopher Dock) stroked a double to left that brought Klusman around for the second run.
Chestnut Hill (10-9-1, 5-4 CACC) got a run back in the home half of the sixth on an Eric Small base hit. The Griffins took the lead with a three-run seventh inning. Eric Gilham tied the score with a bases-loaded fielder's choice that didn't result in an out. Matthew Owens put the Griffins in front after getting hit by a pitch in the next at-bat. Small's second RBI single in as many innings made the score 4-2.
The Rams attempted to put together a rally in the eighth, loading the bases with one out. The rally came to an abrupt end with Melendez grounding into an inning-ending double play.
Kelly lasted seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits, and striking out seven to get the win. Dino Cattai went the final 1.2 innings to get the save. O'Donnell went 6.1 innings and posted three strikeouts in a losing effort.
Philadelphia wasted little time getting out to a 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of first-inning runs. After Agan and Quaranta reached base to start the game, Klusman knocked in Agan with a single to left for the first run. McTaggart came up two batters later and hit into a double play that scored Quaranta from third.
Chestnut Hill took advantage of an Agan second-inning error to score two runs and knot the game at two. The Griffins tacked on three more runs in the third, two on an Owens triple and the third on an Austin DiBonaventure single, to go ahead 5-2.
The Rams nearly came back in their final crack at the plate to tie the score. McGee got the seventh-inning rally going with a one-out single to center. Ryan Gonzalez (Farmingdale, N.Y./St. Dominic) stepped up two hitters later as a pinch hitter and delivered a two-out double to score McGee to close the gap to 5-3. After a throwing error moved Gonzalez to third and put Quaranta on second, Klusman brought the Rams within one with a RBI single to left—the third of his three game-two hits. The Griffins walked Steven Wells (Yardley, Pa./The Hun School) to load the bases. McTaggart came up and grounded out to second to end the game.
Matthew Kress gave up four runs, three earned, on seven hits and struck out four in a complete-game win. C.J. Kilgarriff (Richboro, Pa./Council Rock North) allowed five runs, three earned, on five hits and fanned two over five innings in the loss.
Philadelphia heads to Goldey-Beacom for a non-conference doubleheader on Friday, April 7 at noon.