Cardinals respond with win over Illinois College

Courtesy of athletics.SJFC.edu

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The St. John Fisher College baseball team bounced back on Sunday with a 4-2 win over Illinois College at Oceola Heritage Park as part of the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational.  With the win, Fisher climbed to 2-2 on the year while Illinois College closed out its day at 0-2 overall.

The Cardinals’ pitching was dealing all afternoon with Allen Murphy earning the win after the junior went five innings and allowed just one run on three hits. Murphy had three strikeouts overall against just one walk.  Tim Geissel came on in relief and was credited with a save after giving up one run over four innings with four strikeouts.

The Cardinals got off to a strong start in the bottom of the first frame after coming up with two runs on three hits.  Justin Graham got things started with a bunt single and moved into scoring position after stealing second.  With a man on and one down, Thomas Pasqualestepped in and smacked an RBI-single through the left side that plated Graham and made it 1-0 in Fisher’s favor.  After Pasquale stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch, Michael Beimel came up with a clutch two-out RBI on a single to right that made it a two-run affair.

The Blueboys would get one back in the top of the third, but Fisher answered with a run of its own in the home half of this inning when Ryan Simmons singled up the middle to score Antony Mantova who had reached after being hit by a pitch.

Ahead by two runs, 3-1, Fisher went to the pen with Geissel giving up a solo shot to the first batter he faced before settling down with two strikeouts to keep it at a one-run game.

After a scoreless seventh inning, the Cardinals padded their advantage as Murphy helped his own cause by drawing a leadoff walk.  Beimel kept the momentum going with a single while both runners moved up an extra base after a throwing error put runners at second and third with one away.  With two in scoring position, Simmons stepped into the box and ripped a bouncer over the third baseman’s head that pushed Murphy home and gave the Cardinals a 4-2 edge.

In the top of the ninth, Illinois College had two runners on, but Geissel shut the door with a fly out to center to end the threat.

In all, Fisher had 10 hits with Graham going 3-for-4 with a double, a stolen base and a run scored.  Simmons was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI while Beimel had two hits in three at-bats to go along with one run drive in and a walk.  Stephen Edgett, Murphy, and Pasquale each had one hit in the win.

Fisher will return to action at 2:30 p.m. on Monday when it takes on Widener in lake Myrtle as the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational continues.

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