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Moravian Scores in 8th Inning to Earn a Win over New Jersey City University in 2018 Home Opener

Evan Kulig '19 celebrates with Head Coach Paul Engelhardt after a three-RBI triple versus New Jersey City University.
Evan Kulig '19 celebrates with Head Coach Paul Engelhardt after a three-RBI triple versus New Jersey City University.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College baseball team snapped an 8-8 tie with a run on the bottom of the eighth inning on an RBI double by junior third baseman Evan Kulig to earn a 9-8 non-conference victory over visiting New Jersey City University Thursday in the Greyhounds' 2018 home opener at Gillespie Field.

The Hounds, who are now 5-6 on the season, had eight hits in the contest with Kulig going 2-for-5 with four RBIs, a double and a triple. Juniors center fielder Austin Markowski and shortstop Matt Stalter were both 2-for-4 in the contest.

Moravian used six pitchers on the mound with junior Brendon Caraway starting the contest and allowing a run on three hits to go with two strikeouts in three innings of action. Senior Nicholas Mazzella  had two strikeouts in one inning of work while senior Dan Morrin tossed two-thirds of an inning with four runs on four walks, a hit and a strikeout. Freshman Rodney Berger allowed two walks and struck out one in 1.1 innings while junior Kevin Shields gave up three runs on two hits and two walks to go with two strikeouts in an inning of work. Junior Tyler Caraway earned the victory after allowing two hits and striking out one in 1.1 innings.

The Gothic Knights jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning.

The Greyhounds answered with seven runs in the bottom half of the third for a 7-1 lead. Junior catcher Andrew Koenig led off with a single and Stalter followed with a bunt single. After a sacrifice bunt by sophomore right fielder Carmine Palummo, Markowski drew a walk to load the bases. Kulig ripped a three-RBI triple to the gap in right centerfield to clear the bases and give the Blue and Grey the lead. Kulig would score on an RBI fielder's choice off the bat of senior first baseman Joey Maker. Moravian would get three more runs in the inning off of errors by the Gothic Knights.

The Hounds added a run on the bottom of the fourth for an 8-1 advantage. Palummo drew a leadoff walk, stole second base and scored on an RBI single from Markowski.

New Jersey City would score four times in the top of the fifth and three more runs in the seventh to tie the game at 8-8.

Moravian scored the game winning run in the bottom of the eighth. Stalter singled with one out and sophomore second baseman Ian Csencsits drew a walk to put Stalter in scoring position when freshman Michael Miceli came in to pinch run. After the second out of the inning, Kulig ripped an RBI double down the left field line, just under the diving third baseman, as Miceli raced home with the go-ahead run. The Hounds stranded runners at second and third in the inning.

NJCU would get a leadoff single, stolen base and ground out to put a runner at third in the top of the ninth frame when the game was called due to darkness.

The Greyhounds are slated to return to action on Saturday, March 17 when the squad begins its 2018 Landmark Conference season with a doubleheader versus No. 19 The Catholic University of America. First pitch is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at Gillespie Field for a seven-inning game followed by a nine-inning contest.