BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College baseball team reached the 20-win plateau for the sixth straight season as the Greyhounds held off a late rally by rival Muhlenberg College to earn a 4-3 non-conference win at Gillespie Field Thursday.
The Hounds are now 20-5 on the year and have won 14 of their last 15 games. The win also pushed Moravian's lead in the annual Matte Award standings to 10-5 in favor the Greyhounds, meaning the trophy will be coming back to Bethlehem for the first time since 2002-03.
"It was a good win against Muhlenberg as our rival and as part of the Matte Award so I'm pleased with that," said Head Coach Paul Engelhardt. "Getting 20 wins says something about the program. The guys set forth goals each year and to achieve those goals, it comes with hard work, and if you are playing toward them then you should have over 20 wins. It is nice for the kids but we still have a lot of goals left to achieve this spring. It also shows the program has been doing well here for several years.
The Greyhounds opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the fourth when junior outfielder Matt Hanson reached on an error to start the inning, and he scored from second base on another Muhlenberg error on a grounder hit by sophomore first baseman Charles Savite.
The Mules answered with a run in the top of the fifth inning to tie the contest at 1-1.
Moravian scored three times in the bottom half of the fifth for a 4-1 lead. Junior outfielder Justin Pilchman was hit by a pitch with one out and put the Hounds back in front, 2-1, when he scored on a bases loaded single by junior third baseman Ryan Luke. After the second out of the inning, Savite ripped a two-RBI single to left field scoring junior second baseman Alex Bull and senior shortstop Daniel Seitzinger.
Muhlenberg scored a run in the top of the sixth, and the Mules pulled within a run in the top of the eighth inning. Senior closer Chris Soltys came on in the eighth inning for two strikeouts to end the Muhlenberg threat.
The Mules used a walk, a balk and a sacrifice bunt to get a runner to third with one out in the top of the ninth. With the infield in, Seitzinger made a diving stop to his right, got up and made the throw to first for the second out and keeping the Hounds up by a run. Soltys would get a ground out for his fourth save of the season.
"Dan made a full layout on the play and did a great job to get to his feet and throw out a pretty quick runner," explained Engelhardt of the winning defensive play. "It was a great play by a senior out there."
Each team had seven hits in the game with sophomore catcher Mike Roethke going 2-for-3.
Moravian used a scheduled pitching rotation for the game with senior Jason Jamula earning his first win of the year after allowing an unearned run on one hit in 1.1 innings of action. Soltys tossed the final 1.2 innings with two walks and a strikeout while senior Ben Hammel started and struck out three batters and allowed one hit in two innings of action.
The Greyhounds will head to Long Island for a three-game Landmark Conference series versus The United States Merchant Marine Academy. Saturday's doubleheader is being played at Dowling College and will start at 1:00 p.m.