Almonte lifts baseball to CACC split at Caldwell

Almonte lifts baseball to CACC split at Caldwell

CALDWELL, N.J. – Abraham Almonte (Danbury, Conn./Danbury) gave the Philadelphia University baseball team a dominating complete-game performance to help the Rams win the second game of their Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) doubleheader, 3-0, Saturday afternoon at the Kiwanis Oval. The Cougars staged a late rally to claim game one 10-5.

Almonte faced four hitters over the minimum as he tossed a seven-inning two-hitter. He recorded seven strikeouts, while only walking two Cougars. Almonte allowed only one runner to get into scoring position when he issues back-to-back two-out walks in the fifth inning.

Philadelphia (5-12, 3-3 CACC) scored all three of its runs in the top of the first inning. Michael Melendez (Lansdale, Pa./Christopher Dock) opened the game with an infield single and went to second on a Brandon Quaranta (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Arlington) walk. Steven Wells (Yardley, Pa./The Hun School) cashed in with a single to right field to send Melendez home for the game's first run. David McTaggart (Wilmington, Del./St. Elizabeth)) hit into a fielder's choice that scored Quaranta to double the advantage. After a Dan Klusman (Wilmington, Del./St. Elizabeth) single put McTaggart on third, Nick Goetz (Danbury, Conn./Danbury) lofted a sacrifice fly to right field for the final run.

Led by a 3-for-4 performance by Wells, Philadelphia pounded out 10 hits. Melendez contributed a pair of hits.

Jack Zosulis and Daniel Gregor had the two Caldwell hits. Chris Gehrsitz suffered the complete-game loss, fanning two batters and throwing only 78 pitches.

Philadelphia took a 4-1 lead in game one into the bottom of the seventh inning. Caldwell (4-7 1-1 CACC) plated five runs in the seventh and four more in the eighth to grab a 10-4 advantage.

During the seventh inning, the Cougars got two-out singles from Paul Marinello, Michael Bernstein, and Kevin Goldman. Marinello knocked in two runs and scored on the Bernstein base hit to tie the score. Goldman came up two batters later and drove in two more runs to make the score 6-4. Ryan Rivera had a two-RBI single in the four-run eighth.

Philadelphia got a run back in the ninth on Nick Goetz's first home run of the season to close the gap to 10-5. The Rams ended the game with a bases-loaded strikeout.

The Caldwell rally spoiled a strong start by Philadelphia's C.J. Kilgarriff (Richboro, Pa./Council Rock North). Kilgarriff allowed just one unearned run on three hits in six innings and struck out four in a no-decision. Josh Caba picked up the win after striking out eight in seven innings.

Philadelphia raced out to a 3-0 lead in the first on a Quaranta two-run homer, his ninth of the year, in the second at-bat of the game and a Klusman sacrifice fly. With the lead sitting at 3-1, Melendez drove in a run with a fifth-inning fielder's choice.

Wells had three of the Rams' six hits, while Marinello and Gregor had two hits each for Caldwell.

Philadelphia will host Goldey-Beacom in a CACC doubleheader on Wednesday, March 29 at 1 p.m.