LYNDHURST, N.J. – Dan Klusman's (Wilmington, Del./St. Elizabeth) RBI groundout in the top of the 12th inning allowed the Philadelphia University baseball team to reach the double-elimination portion of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament for the second straight year as the eighth-seeded Rams knocked off 16th-ranked and top seed Felician University 5-4 Sunday afternoon at the Lyndhurst Recreation Complex.
Philadelphia (19-27) begins the second stage of the CACC Tournament against fourth seed Chestnut Hill—a 2-0 winner over Bloomfield—on Thursday, May 11 at 3 p.m. at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury, Conn.
Brandon Quaranta (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Arlington) started the 12th inning with a single to left field to cap off a 2-for-4 day. Quaranta made his way to third base on a Steven Wells (Yardley, Pa./The Hun School) sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch. Then, Klusman hit a 2-2 pitch from Rob Naughton on the first-base line to bring Quaranta home for the go-ahead run.
Casey O'Donnell (Horsham, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) gave up a two-out single in the bottom of the 12th, but got Matt Diesel to strike out swinging to move the Rams on in the tournament. O'Donnell went 3.1 innings in relief, fanning five, to record the victory. He also recorded a hit in his first collegiate at-bat in the 11th inning.
Trailing 2-1 after four, Quaranta tied the game at two with a fifth-inning ground-rule double to bring home Jeff Briggs. Briggs reached base with a two-out single and advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches.
David McTaggart (Wilmington, Del./St. Elizabeth) put the Rams ahead one inning later as he tripled and scored on a Michael Melendez (Lansdale, Pa./Christopher Dock) sacrifice bunt back to Felician starter John Holland. McTaggart had two hits in five at-bats.
Matthew McGee (Forest Hill, Md./John Carroll)—who had a game-high three hits—tacked on an insurance run with an eighth-inning sacrifice bunt to plate McTaggart from third base. McTaggart recorded a one-out double and advanced to third on wild pitch.
Felician (33-13) loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth inning. Down to their final strike, Golden Falcon right fielder Ronnie Grant put a Quaranta 3-2 pitch into right field to bring home two runs and tied the score at four. At that point, O'Donnell entered the game and kept the Rams' season alive by fanning pinch hitter Mike Martone.
The Golden Falcons took a 2-1 lead with a pair of runs in the fourth inning. Jason Polgano had a RBI single and Diesel scored when Klusman dropped a J.R. Meneses fly ball.
Polgano and Matt Kleinstein both had two hits for Felician. Philadelphia outhit Felician 10-8.
Abraham Almonte (Danbury, Conn./Danbury) struck out nine and allowed just four hits over six innings in a no decision for Philadelphia. Holland had seven strikeouts in his six innings of action.