EASTON, Pa. – The La Salle baseball team scored nine runs in its final four at-bats to defeat Lafayette, 11-2, in the first round of the Liberty Bell Classic on Tuesday at Kamine Stadium. The Explorers move on to visit Penn next Tuesday in the LBC semifinals, with the championship game to be contested at Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday, April 10.
Five Explorers (14-10) had multiple hits, led by seniors Brendan Norton and Marc Schoch, who totaled three each. Norton doubled and scored three times, while Schoch had a pair of doubles and drove in two.
Junior Joe Bennie homered, doubled and drove in three runs while seniors Jeff Flax and Adam Kammler each had two hits for the victors.
Junior lefthander Ryan Donahue (1-0) earned his first win in a La Salle uniform after transferring from Long Beach State. He tossed 3.2 innings, striking out seven and allowing one earned run. Freshman Mike McLeod allowed one earned run in 3.1 innings before giving way to senior Caolan Ronan and Derek Pruncal, who combined for two innings of scoreless relief.
The game was tight early on, as a third inning wild pitch and Schoch double gave the Explorers a 2-0 lead. Lafayette drew within one on a two-out single in the fourth off Donahue, but McLeod came in with the bases loaded and induced a fielder’s choice to end the threat.
In the sixth, La Salle extended the lead to 4-1 on a double by sophomore George Smith, Jr. and a Norton single and made it 6-1 on three doubles by Kammler, Bennie and freshman Kevin Conroy.
Kammler drove in a run on a ground-out in the eighth, and Schoch followed with another RBI double, to make it 8-1. Bennie slammed his team-best fourth home run of the season with two away to finish the scoring in the eighth and senior Zach Feierstein lofted a sacrifice fly to account for the 11th run.
For Lafayette (6-14-1), Alex Farina suffered the loss after allowing two earned runs in four innings. Brad Hopek had two hits for the Leopards.
La Salle will return home to host Richmond on Friday in an Atlantic 10 series at 3 PM. Saturday’s game will begin at 1 PM, while Sunday’s will start at 1:30 PM due to a women’s lacrosse game at McCarthy Stadium at 11:30 AM.
Notes: La Salle has added an away game at Army on May 1…The Explorers have reached the LBC semifinals in two straight season and will look to return to Citizens Bank Park for the first time since winning it in 2006…Dan Klem and Kammler have reached base in a team-high nine straight games…Bennie has hit safely in eight straight games…