Fisher finishes E8 schedule with split doubleheader

Courtesy of athletics.SJFC.edu

HOUGHTON, N.Y. – The St. John Fisher College baseball team pushed its winning streak to nine games on Saturday after defeating Houghton College in the opening game of an Empire 8 doubleheader before falling in the nightcap.  With the split, Fisher moved to 27-11 on the season and 13-5 in the Empire 8 while the Highlanders fell to 11-21 overall.

FISHER 16, HOUGHTON 4

Neither team was able to break through in the first inning, but the Cardinals’ offense came to life in the second inning after head coach Brandon Potter‘s team plated a pair of runs on two hits with Ryan Brown (Brighton) and Stephen Edgett (Webster Thomas) coming up with an RBI apiece.

Fisher struck again in the top of the third after a leadoff walk to Allen Murphy came around to score when Michael Beimel laced a single through the right side to make it a three-run game heading into the fourth.

After taking a 4-0 lead in the next inning courtesy of a wild pitch, the Cardinals made two costly errors in the bottom of the fifth as Houghton strung together three hits and plated four runs to knot the game up, 4-4, as the inning turned over.

In the sixth, the Cardinals forged ahead as Antony Mantova pushed the go-ahead run across the dish after drawing a walk with the bases loaded to make it 5-4 in the late innings.

Ahead by one run in the seventh, Fisher blew the game wide open as the visitors sent 17 batters to the plate and produced 11 runs on six hits.  In all, eight players drove in at least one run in the frame with Murphy and Thomas Pasquale each plating three in the inning.

Overall, Fisher knocked Houghton’s pitching around for 15 hits led by Edgett who was 4-for-5 on the day with two RBI and a walk.  Murphy was 1-for-2 in the win with a double, three RBI and four walks while Pasquale was 2-for-5 with three runs batted in.  Mantova had two hits in four at-bats with two RBI and Brown was 1-for-3 with a pair of runs driven in.

On the hill, Kenneth Westbrook started and went four innings on the day.  Westbrook allowed three unearned runs on six hits and finished with four strikeouts.  Tim Geissel moved to 2-0 with the win as the sophomore yielded one unearned run over three innings.  Geissel scattered four hits and struck out a pair in relief.

HOUGHTON 5, FISHER 4

In the finale, Houghton came away with three runs in the bottom of the third inning before giving two back in the top of the fourth.  Murphy led off the inning with a hard-hit double to left-center before Mantova reached after being hit by a pitch.  Ryan Simmons (Victor) singled to third to load the bases, but Fisher would ground into a double play as Murphy scored.  With a runner still on the pond, Jake Hewitt lined an RBI-double down the left line to make it 3-2.

Following a scoreless home half of the fourth, Fisher would take the lead in the top of the fifth after Edgett crushed a two-run shot over the left field fence that made it 4-3.  The lad remained in Fisher’s hands until the bottom of the seventh when Houghton plated two runs on three hits to retake a one-run edge, 5-4.

From there, Fisher would strand two in the top of the eighth and was unable to get anything going in the ninth as the Highlanders came out on top.

RJ Kuruts was tagged with the loss and moved to 4-3 after the sophomore went 6.2 innings and allowed five runs on six hits.  Brandon Roberts threw the final 1.1 innings and gave up one hit.

The Cardinals are back in action at 2 p.m. on Monday when they travel to La Plume, Pa. to take on Keystone College in the team’s regular season finale.

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