BETHLEHEM, Pa.—Junior pitcher Brendan Close (Bethlehem, Pa./Freedom) was one out away from a no-hitter as Moravian College defeated The University of Scranton, 6-0, in the first of three-game Landmark Conference series Saturday afternoon at Gillespie Field.
Only an infield single by senior Chris Stallone (South Plainfield, N.J./South Plainfield) with two outs in the top of the ninth spoiled Close's bid for the no-no. Close dominated the Royals, striking out 16 batters and walking only one to improve to 7-0 on the season.
The league-leading and defending champion Greyhounds also improved to 17-7 overall and 9-1 in the conference, while Scranton fell to 8-12 overall and 4-3 in the Landmark. Juniors Dave Zubia (Bethlehem, Pa./Bethlehem Catholic) and Kevin O'Keefe (Alexandria, Va./Bishop Ireton) led Moravian with three hits apiece and O'Keefe and senior Jon Baltz (Easton, Pa./Easton) drove in two runs apiece.
Losing pitcher Robert Della Polla (Havertown, Pa./St. Joseph's Preparatory) gave the Royals five solid innings, scattering seven hits, striking out six and allowing only two earned runs. Defensively, Scranton committed three errors that led to two unearned runs. The series with conclude with a 7-inning doubleheader tomorrow afternoon at Gillespie Field beginning at 1:00 p.m.