AMBLER, Pa. – The Stevenson baseball team grabbed the lead in the first inning, but watched the host Arcadia University go in front in the second and never look back as they defeated the Green and White by a final of 11-8 on Friday afternoon in MAC Commonwealth play at Skip Wilson Field.
Stevenson (17-19, 7-12 MAC Commonwealth) was led by a 3-5 day from senior John D'Aquanno who finished with a double and two runs batted in. Classmate Jake Dimon added two hits including his first home run of the season and a game-high four RBIs. Sophomore Kevin Murray Jr. also chipped in a pair of hits including a double, scoring one run as well. Junior Matthew Kerber posted a solo knock, scored two runs and had a stolen base. Senior Billy Small, sophomores Mark Terrell and Alex Kidwiler combined for three hits, three runs scored, and a run batted in.
The Mustangs wasted little time getting the lead for sophomore starter Zach Kaye as they touched up Arcadia (24-11, 14-5 MAC Commonwealth) pitcher Joel Bartoni for a solo marker in the top of the first. Kerber opened the contest off with a single out to right-center and stole second. With one gone D'Aquanno stepped into the box and delivered a run-scoring single to left making it 1-0. Small would fly out and Terrell struck out to end the frame. Kaye surrendered a leadoff single to Bryan Gillen he got the next three hitters to fly out to the outfield to retire the side. Stevenson was set down in order by Bartoni in the second which kept the deficit at 1-0. A single for Phil Pierfy and a two-bagger by Josh Fulmer put two on with no outs for Tyler Wisnewski who drew a free pass from Kaye to load the bags. That sent Matt Ernst to the dish and he reached on an infield single which plated two men. The Knights added one more in the inning on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Nick Ponente. It would remain 3-1 home team until the bottom part of the fourth as Arcadia tacked on two more. As with two gone and a pair in scoring position, Ponente drove one through the left side scoring one. A Gillen single put men on the corners for Luke Hohenstein. During his at-bat, Gillen was caught stealing between first and second. However, the play lasted long enough for Ponente to race home giving the Knights a 5-1 edge after four.
After another three up-three down frame for Bartoni, the hosts plated one more in the last of the fifth when with the bases full Wisnewski was hit by a pitch allowing Hohenstein to trot home extending the advantage to 6-1. Four more Knights came into score in the sixth on RBI hits from Gillen, Sean Carew (2), and Pierfy made it 10-1 after six. It would be 11-1 at the end of seven after a one-out RBI double off the bat of Hohenstein.
The Stevenson bats then came to life in the top of inning number eight as they scored five times in the frame off of reliever Mitch Blake. Senior Michael Kelly began things with a walk. Then with one down Murray singled to put two on. D'Aquanno became the second out when he flew out to center advancing Kelly 90-feet to third. From there the Green and White two-out attack went to work. Small stepped up and roped a single to right plating one. Terrell followed with a single to fill the bases. The next man to enter the box was Dimon and he took Blake yard for a grand slam trimming it to 11-6. Rhodes was the final out of the inning on a fly ball to center. Sophomore reliever Jake Vanko took the bump in the last of the frame and gave up a single to Pierfy before getting a fly out and inducing a double play to retire the side. In the ninth, the Mustangs looked to try and complete the fantastic comeback against Hohenstein who took over on the mound. Kidwiler led off with a double to right and went to third on a Kelly fly out. Kerber then reached safely on an error by the first baseman which allowed for him to head to second and Kidwiler to race home. Murray moved Kerber 90-feet away from home with a groundout to second. He was followed by D'Aquanno who brought the deficit to three at 11-8 with a single to left, but Small grounded out to end the game.
Stevenson starter Kaye (3-4) took the loss going five allowing ten runs (seven earned) on 12 hits. He recorded 11 fly outs and two groundouts. Junior Tayvon Smith went one inning out of the pen giving up a run on three hits while striking out two. Vanko had a quiet eighth surrendering just the one hit.
The Mustangs will be right back in action on Saturday, April, 28 when they host Arcadia University to wrap-up MAC Commonwealth play with a doubleheader at Sugar Field. First pitch of game one against the Knights is set for 1pm.