BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College baseball team split a Landmark Conference doubleheader with Drew University at Gillespie Field Sunday afternoon as the visiting Rangers earned a 9-8 victory in the opener after giving up a 7-0 lead before the Greyhounds won the second contest, 11-2.
"I'm proud of the way the guys fought back in game one," commented Head Coach Paul Engelhardt. "We can't play that way, defensively like we did in game one but they showed a lot of fight which you need to have if they want to do special things. In game two, we were able to get over what happened in game one and played a good game. We got a great showing from Rhett today and we're hitting the ball a lot better, which is really helpful. Now we have a shot tomorrow to win the weekend."
In the opener that saw the Rangers jump out to a 7-0 lead in the first inning before Moravian moved ahead 8-7 in the fourth inning, the Greyhounds had 12 hits. Freshmen left fielder Austin Markowski and shortstop Evan Kulig were each 2-for-3 while seniors designated hitter Cameron Leon and catcher Mike Roethke were both 2-for-4.
Junior Nicolas Ampietro tossed the first 5.1 innings with eight runs, five earned on 11 hits, no walks and three strikeouts. Senior Anthony Zaloga took the loss after giving up a run on three hits and a walk to go with two strikeouts in one inning of action. Senior Tommy Natale-Drown pitched the final two-thirds of an inning in the opener.
After Drew took its 7-0 lead in the top of the first inning, Moravian would get on the scoreboard with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning. Senior first baseman Charles Savite led off with a single and moved to third on a double by Leon down the left field line. Freshman second baseman Tim Heard hit an RBI ground out to score Savite for the 100th time in his career, the 10th player in school history to reach 100 runs scored. Kulig followed up with an RBI infield single as Roethke scored.
The Hounds would add six runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take an 8-7 lead. Reothke led off with a double and Heard walked. After a bunt by Kulig moved the runners over, junior center fielder Anthony Gaetaniello connected on a two-RBI double. Freshman right fielder Mike Mittl singled before Gaetaniello raced home on an RBI bunt single by Markowski. Savite chased Mittl across the plate with an RBI sacrifice fly before Leon put Moravian ahead with a two-RBI single.
Drew answered with a run in the fifth and one in the top of the seventh to earn the win in the opener.
Greyhounds' freshman pitcher Rhett Jacoby earned his fifth win of the second in the second game as he allowed a pair of runs on seven hits and three walks to go with three strikeouts in his fourth complete game of the season.
Moravian had 13 hits in the second game as Savite and senior third baseman Alex Bull each went 3-for-4. Marksowski was 2-for-3 in the game with his team-leading fifth home run of the season.
The Rangers once again jumped out to a first inning lead with a single run off of Jacoby. Moravian would get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third inning with Kulig led off with a walk and eventually scored on an RBI single by Bull. Leon drew a bases loaded walk to give Moravian a 2-1 lead.
The Greyhounds added five runs in the bottom of the fourth. Mittl drove in a run with an RBI single before Markowski connected on a two-run homer to left field. Reothke would drive in two more runs in the inning with a single up the middle. The Blue and Grey pushed three more runs across the plate in the fifth frame on a two-RBI single by Savite and an RBI single by sophomore designated hitter Logan Welles.
Drew scored a run in the top of the sixth and Moravian would counter with a run in the bottom half of the frame on an RBI sacrifice fly from Mittl.
The teams will close out their three-game Landmark Conference series with a single game on Monday, April 11 with first pitch slated for 4:00 p.m. at Gillespie Field in Bethlehem.