BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The second seeded Moravian College baseball team bounced back from an 18-3 loss in the opening game to defeat third seed Elizabethtown College, 12-9, in the second game Sunday to force the if necessary contest between the schools in the 2016 Landmark Conference Semifinal series at Gillespie Field.
The Greyhounds, now 22-20 on the season, will host that if necessary game on Monday, May 9 with first pitch slated for 12:00 p.m. The winner will advance to face top seed Susquehanna University in the championship series on Friday and Saturday, May 13-14 in Selinsgrove.
"I was happy with the way our guys came out and fought back in the second game today," stated Head Coach Paul Engelhardt, who has Moravian in the postseason for the eighth consecutive spring. "Our season is on the line tomorrow, and we'll need that type of performance again to get a win and advance."
In the opening contest Sunday, the Greyhounds were limited to 10 hits with freshman second baseman Tim Heard going 2-for-2. Senior first baseman Charles Savite and freshman shortstop Evan Kulig were both 2-for-3 while senior third baseman Alex Bull was 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 20 games.
Moravian sent five pitchers to the mound in the opener with freshman Rhett Jacoby starting and registering three strikeouts in six plus innings of action. Sophomores Bryan Schoch and Clay Weidemoyer and freshman Billy Roethke each tossed with an inning with Roethke registering a strikeout while senior Anthony Martino also saw action.
Elizabethtown scored five runs in the third inning, two in the sixth and three in the seventh to build a 10-0 lead. Moravian got on the scoreboard with a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh inning on an RBI double by Bull and an RBI single from Savite.
The Blue Jays would add eight more runs in the top of the eighth inning before the Greyhounds finished the scoring in the first game with a run on the bottom half of the inning on an RBI sacrifice fly by freshman outfielder Chase Rogers.
Rogers would lead Moravian at the plate in the second game as he went 4-for-4 as part of the Hounds' 18 hits in the win. Senior outfielder Cameron Leon was 4-for-5 while Savite was 2-for-4. Kulig added a 2-for-5 game while junior center fielder Anthony Gaetaniello was 2-for-6 to go with a pair of stolen bases as he became the fourth player in school history to reach 50 career steals.
Sophomore Ryan Kahn earned the victory on the mound for the Blue and Grey with two strikeouts in 5.1 innings of action. Senior Anthony Zaloga tossed two-thirds of an inning while senior Hunter Guard tossed the final three innings with three strikeouts.
Moravian jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning of the second game with all six runs coming with two outs. Bull doubled to get things started to extend the hitting streak to 21 games and his streak of reaching base safely to 43 games. Savite followed with an RBI double before Leon connected on an RBI single. After a hit by Kulig, Rogers had an RBI double, and senior catcher Mike Roethke finished the inning with a three-run homer to left field, his second homer of the season.
The Blue Jays would cut the lead to 6-3 in the top of the fourth but Moravian answered with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning on a sacrifice fly by Bull and an RBI single from Leon. Moravian extended the lead to 10-3 in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI double by Heard, who then pulled off a double steal to swipe home with Gaetaniello stealing second to hit the milestone.
After Elizabethtown scored once in the sixth and twice in the seventh, the Hounds added two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth on RBI singles from Kulig and Rogers. The Blue Jays finished off the scoring with three runs in the top of the ninth.