SCRANTON, Pa. – The University of Scranton baseball team got hot at the plate at the right time and got another complete game from senior pitcher Rocky Sawyer (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty) to roll to a 9-4 win over Moravian College on Sunday afternoon at Connell Park.
The Royals pounded out 12 hits, including three home runs, while improving to 13-13 overall and 6-6 in the Landmark Conference. The win keeps Scranton one game behind Drew University for fourth place, the final playoff spot. The Royals and Rangers meet in a three-game series in Madison, N.J. next weekend.
Sawyer tossed his second nine-inning complete game of the week, scattering 12 hits and walking three while striking out six. He allowed a first-inning run, but Scranton answered back with four in the bottom of the first on a two-run homer by junior shortstop Tim LeCompte (Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic), an RBI sac fly by freshman outfielder Ross Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights/Blair Academy, N.J.) and an RBI double by junior catcher Michael Amaturo (Rye, N.Y./Rye).
Moravian (22-13, 11-4 Landmark) added a run in the top of the third, but Scranton got two back in the bottom of the inning on a two-run single by senior second baseman Jesse Outhouse (Croton Falls, N.Y./North Salem). The Greyhounds chipped away with a run in the fifth, but Scranton got it right back on a two-out RBI single by Outhouse in the bottom of the inning that made it 7-3.
Scranton extended the lead on solo homers by junior outfielder Michael Gaeta (Cranford, N.J./Cranford) in the sixth and Outhouse in the seventh. Moravian scored a run in the top of the ninth, but Sawyer stranded a pair of runners to finish the complete game.
Outhouse finished the game 3-for-4 with four RBIs and a run scored, Danzig had two hits, a run and an RBI, sophomore designated hitter Eric Pizzico (Royersford, Pa./Spring-Ford) had singled, doubled and scored two runs, and freshman outfielder Michael Umerich (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights) had two hits and scored a run.
Moravian was led by senior shortstop Dave Zubia (Bethlehem, Pa./Bethlehem Catholic), who singled, doubled, tripled and scored twice. Senior first baseman Kevin O'Keefe (Alexandria, Va./Bishop Ireton) had two doubles, two RBIs and a run scored.
Prior to Sunday's game, the Royals honored their six seniors, who were playing the final home conference games of their careers – Sawyer, Outhouse, infielder Matt Rayha (Willow Street, Pa./Penn Manor), first baseman Mark Grambo (Clarks Summit, Pa./Scranton Preparatory), outfielder Sean Butler (Dickson City, Pa./Scranton) and infielder Rich Pohl (Belvidere, N.J./Belvidere).
Scranton returns to the diamond on Tuesday when the Royals host King's College at 4 p.m. at Connell Park.