Tuesday, April 3, 2007
By Bob Heller
Chris Longo and Phil Maher each hit home runs as the University of the Sciences baseball team banged out 14 hits against area rival Philadelphia University this afternoon. However, the Devils fell just short on the scoreboard, losing a 9-8 decision to the Rams.
USP falls to 3-13 overall and 1-3 in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference games. The Rams improve to 7-12 overall and 3-3 in league contests. This afternoon's game was also designated as the first round game of the annual Bill Giles Tournament. Philadelphia will advance to play either West Chester University or Wilmington College at Citizen's Bank Park on April 10, 2007 for the tournament championship.
Maher (Jr., Norristown HS/Norristown, Pa.) and Longo (Jr., Cherry Hill East HS/Cherry Hill, N.J.) each drove in two runs with their home runs and finished the game with three hits apiece. Justin DeVincenzo (Sr., Bishop Hoban HS/Plains, Pa.) also had three hits on the afternoon and Chris Pino (Jr., Hazleton Area HS/West Hazleton, Pa.) drove in three of the Devils eight runs. Five different Philadelphia players had two hits apiece with Devin Conroy blasting a three run home run in the Rams five-run third inning.
The Devils got on the scoreboard first as Longo hit his first home run of the season in the top half of the third inning, scoring Rich Cipoletti (Sr., Half Hollow Hills West HS/Dix Hills, N.Y.) ahead of him to give the Devils a 2-0 lead. The Rams countered with five runs in the bottom of the third inning, highlighted by Conroy's three-run blast, which capped off the inning and gave the Rams a 5-2 lead.
Justin DeVincenzo doubled to lead off the top of the fourth inning and advanced to third when Mark Forbes (Fr., Salesianum HS/Hockessin, Del.) reached on an error. Ryan Challender (Fr., G.A.M.P./ Upper Darby, Pa.) then drew a walk to load the bases before Pino singled to score DeVincenzo and Forbes and pull the Devils within one 5-4.
The Rams got the two runs back in the bottom of the fourth, boosting their lead back up to three, 7-4 and chasing USP starter Michael DeVincenzo (Sr., Bishop Hoban HS/Plains, Pa.). The score remained 7-4 until the top half of the sixth inning when the Devils again scored twice to pull within one, 7-6. Justin DeVincenzo singled to start the inning with Forbes following with a double to put runners on second and third with nobody out. Challender then grounded out to the shortstop, allowing DeVincenzo to score, Pino followed suit with an infield groundout to score Forbes and make the score 7-6.
However, just like the fourth inning, the Devils gave the two runs back in the next half inning as the Rams scored twice to take a 9-6 lead, taking advantage of two USP errors. The Devils scored their final two runs in the eighth inning as Cipoletti delivered a one-out single and came around to score on Maher's first home run of the season, making the score 9-8. Philadelphia's Kyle Noonan set the Devils down in order in the ninth to preserve the win for Andrew Bednarek and earn the save. Michael DeVincenzo took the loss for the Devils.