NEW CASTLE, Del. – Brandon Quaranta (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Arlington) went 4-for-5 with six RBIs and threw 1.1 scoreless innings of relief to record his first collegiate save and put the Philadelphia University baseball team one game away from the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) championship after the Rams defeated Dominican (N.Y.), 9-4, in the winners' bracket Friday morning on Wilmington University's Wilson Field.
With the victory, Philadelphia—who entered the tournament as the fourth seed—improves to 23-26 overall, the most wins for the program since a 25-win season back in 1995. The Rams are 10-3 in their last 13 games, including five straight victories.
Philadelphia moves into the tournament's championship round and take on Felician University, a 12-4 winner over Dominican in the losers' bracket, on Saturday, May 14 at 11 a.m. on Wilson Field. The Rams need just one victory to claim their first CACC title.
Quaranta put Philadelphia in the lead with a two-run home run in the home half of the first inning—his seventh homer of the season and third off of Dominican pitching.
After trading two-out RBIs singles in the second inning, Philadelphia widened the gap to 6-1 with a three-run fourth inning. Andres Valbuena (Miami, Fla./Doral Academy) delivered the first run of the frame with a one-double to left—as part of a 2-for-4, two RBI day. Quaranta did the rest of the damage, driving in Fernando Garza (Laredo, Texas/Alexander) and Valbuena with two away to put the Rams up five.
Jeffery Briggs (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown) tacked on the Rams' seventh run with a seventh-inning double to bring around Garza, who doubled in the previous at-bat.
Dominican (19-28) tightened up the contest in the eighth inning as Jayson Gray came up with the bases loaded and dropped a bases-clearing double into left field to make the score 7-4.
Quaranta capped off his great day at the plate with a two-run single during the Rams' half of the eighth to reestablish the five-run cushion.
Led by Quaranta's four hits, Philadelphia outhit Dominican (N.Y.) 15-6. Garza, Briggs, and Steven Wells (Yardley, Pa./The Hun School) each added two hits.
In addition to his 2-for-3 day at the plate, Garza scattered four hits and struck out eight batters over the first seven innings to earn the victory (4-3)
Leonardo Bravo and Arbely Soto both went 2-for-5 for the Chargers. Brett Schneider took the loss (1-3), allowing six runs on seven hits in 3.1 innings.