PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – The offense of the Fairfield University baseball team came alive in the nightcap of a doubleheader with Penn as the squad pounded out 15 hits to take a 7-5 win. This victory allowed the team to split the two games after dropping the first with a 6-3 decision.
Not only did the Stags (3-6) tally a season-high with those 15 hits in the second game, they all seemed to come at clutch times. With the Stags trailing by one in the fifth, Tim Zenglined a game-tying RBI single with two outs in the frame. Fairfield grabbed the lead in the sixth after a ground ball double play plated the go-ahead run and then Jack Gethingsdoubled to left to make the score 6-4.
Penn (1-7) got a run back in the bottom half of the frame on a RBI double from Holden Morris to put the Quaker deficit at 6-5.
The Stags picked up another clutch hit in the eighth to bring in an insurance run. The Quakers brought in last year’s Ivy League saves leader in Jake Nelson with two outs, but Mac Crispinogreeted the right hander with a RBI single to right, giving the Stags some breathing room at 7-5.
Nine different players recorded a hit in this contest, with five Stags notching multi-hit games.
Peter Hornlet that lead stay as he recorded the first save of his collegiate career throwing two hitless innings in relief.
In the opener, reigning Ivy League Player of the Year Tim Graul hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the third to give Penn a 3-1 lead and the Quakers would not look back. Graul was the second Penn player to go deep in the inning after Matt McGeagh led off the frame with a game-tying solo shot.
Fairfield grabbed the first lead of the day after Tim Zengscooted home after a Penn error to put the Stags on the board. Fairfield threatened after giving up the lead in the fourth inning, but could not get a runner home after loading the bases.
The Quakers added three runs in that fourth frame, but after that the Fairfield bullpen kept the Stags in the contest as freshmen Tristan Amoneand Ian Halpincombined to hurl the final four innings without giving up a run.
The Stags added a run in the eighth on a Dan RyanRBI single and then plated one in the ninth on a Michael ContiRBI groundout to account for the 6-3 final.
Gethings led the Stags with five hits on the afternoon with three of those coming in the opening setback. Besides his pitching, Halpin also contributed at the plater picking up a two-RBI single in the victory. Dan Hopkinsscored four times in the win, after picking up two hits at the plate.
The Stags will play the rubber game on Tradition Field, the spring training home of the New York Mets, with first pitch at 10am.