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Albertus Magnus Athletics

Falcons Split Doubleheader Against Penn St. Berks to End Spring Trip

Photo by: Ron Waite/Photosportacular
Photo by: Ron Waite/Photosportacular

Myrtle Beach, S.C. - The Albertus Magnus College baseball team suffered a 10-2 loss to Penn State Berks in the opening game of the two teams' doubleheader on Thursday afternoon. The Falcons bounced back quickly in the nightcap, getting their revenge with a thrilling 6-5 victory.

FINAL: Penn St.-Berks 10 | Albertus Magnus 2
RECORDS: Albertus Magnus (5-4) | Penn St.-Berks (4-5)

The Falcons started the game slowly at the plate, with Nhasean Murphy's (Manchester, Conn.) double in the third inning being the team's only hit through the first three frames.

The Lions capitalized on this and scored six times to take a commanding 6-0 lead into the fourth inning. In the first inning, the Lions loaded the bases on three straight singles, before Mason Pennypacker launched a three-RBI double into left field. A pair of wild pitches scored Pennypacker from second base, giving the Lions a quick 4-0 lead after the first inning.

The Lions were held at bay through the second frame, before scoring two more runs in the third. The Falcons got a quick out when Bryce Stout drove a double into center field, and Nate Trovinger was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first on the hit. A hit by pitch to Tyler Kreitz and a throwing error by the Falcons scored Stout from third and put Kreitz 90 feet from the plate with only one out. A sacrifice fly from Josh Hernandez scored Kreitz and increased the Lions' lead to 6-0.

The Falcons got a run back in the top of the fourth inning when Brandon Clark (Cheshire, Conn.) led off with a single. Brendan Clark (North Haven, Conn.) was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second with only one out. Eduardo Pena (Hamden, Conn.) singled through the 5-6 hole, scoring Brandon Clark from second base and putting the score at 6-1 in favor of Penn St. Berks.

The Lions loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the fourth but were unable to score, thanks in part to a quick home-to-first double play by Brandon Clark and Nick Gallivan (Preston, Conn.).

In the top of the fifth, the Falcons worked two walks but were unable to capitalize on the opportunity, stranding Joseph Matthews (Anaheim, Calif.) on first base.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, with Brandon Fowler (Lexington, S.C.) on to pitch for the Falcons, the Lions' Josh Hernandez started with a walk, before a hit from Joe Gramignano scored him for the Lions' seventh run of the day. Tate Yergey followed up with a two-run homer to the power alley in left field. Dante Salerno then connected for a single, before Fowler retired the next two hitters to end the inning.

Elijah Spataj (Cheshire, Conn.) led off the sixth inning with a blast to straightaway center field, his fifth home run of the season. A Brendan Clark hit by pitch and a Jason Sullivan (Meriden, Conn.) double put runners on second and third, before Pena drew a walk to load the bases. The Falcons were unable to capitalize on the scoring opportunity and left the sixth inning trailing 9-2.

Penn State Berks retaliated immediately with a solo run of its own in the bottom of the sixth inning. A hit by pitch and a stolen base to Stout put a runner on second base for Tyler Kreitz, who bunted him over to third for the first out of the inning. Pat Maloney then singled him in for the Lions' 10th run of the day.

Heading into the final frame, down 10-2, the Falcons began a comeback attempt. With one out, Brandon Clark singled through the hole, before Spataj erased him with a fielder's choice. A Lions' error put runners on first and second with two outs, but Berks' Ziggy Bowles induced a long fly-out to center field to end the game.

• Five different Falcons recorded hits.
• Albertus has hit a home run in every single game so far this season.
• Spataj leads the Falcons with five home runs.

Chris Ciarleglio (North Haven, Conn.) tallied his first strikeout of the season on the mound for the Falcons.
• Brandon Clarke picked up his third multi-hit game of the year.
• Spataj set a new career-high with his fifth home run of the season.
• Murphy hit his second double of 2020. 

FINAL: Albertus Magnus 6 | Penn St.-Berks 5
RECORDS: Albertus Magnus (6-4) | Penn St.-Berks (4-6)

After a scoreless first two-and-a-half innings, Albertus opened the games scoring with a run in the bottom of the second. The Falcons owned a golden opportunity to score in the second frame, as they loaded the bases with just one out. Despite the strong chance, Albertus was held to one run on a Murphy sacrifice fly to right that plated Pena.

The Lions answered in the top of the third inning, hanging two on the board for a 2-1 lead. Penn State took advantage of a couple of well-timed singles, with the inning featuring three one-baggers and an RBI groundout.

The two pitchers again settled in, with the Falcons breaking the stalemate with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. After three singles to lead off the inning, Justen Rodriguez (Waterbury, Conn.) scored the first run of the frame on an error by the opposing left fielder. The next at-bat, Brandon Clark slapped a single to left, plating both Murphy and Matthews to give Albertus a 4-2 advantage.

Penn State retaliated in the top of the six, scoring three to widen its lead to 5-4. The Lions scored one run each on a wild pitch, an error, and an RBI single to take the late advantage.

Albertus did not stay down long, however, as a two-run blast from Murphy put the Falcons ahead 6-5. With Rodriguez on after a fielder's choice, Murphy slammed his first-career homer out of the park to swing the game to Albertus.

On the pitching mound, Jay Palais (Farmington, Conn.) slammed the door on the Lions in the seventh to pick up his first save of the season. The senior logged a three-up, three-down inning with two strikeouts. Brendan Clark got the start and tossed 5.0 strong frames with a career-best tying five strikeouts. Shawn McFeggan (Anaheim, Calif.) threw the sixth, allowing two runs.

• The Falcons had eight hits in the nightcap spread across six hitters.
• Both Matthew Lewczyk (Windsor, Conn.) and Murphy finished with two hits each.
• Murphy slammed the lone homer of the contest.
• Murphy ended the day with a game-high three RBI, while Brandon Clark had two.
Brendan Clark pitched the complete game for the Falcons, earning his second win of the season.

• Albertus ends its season with a 6-4 record, going 5-3 at Myrtle Beach, S.C.
• Murphy's home run is the first of his career.
Brendan Clark tied a career-high with seven strikeouts.
• Palais earned his first save of the season.
• Lewczyk tallied his first extra-base hit of the season, a double in the sixth inning.



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