ASTON, Pa. – Robert Spitaletta (Glen Ridge, N.J./Glen Ridge) delivered a walk-off single during the bottom of the ninth inning to send the Penn State Brandywine baseball team to its third consecutive victory as the Lions topped Penn State Schuylkill 5-4 on Tuesday night.
Spitaletta's walk-off winner came nearly one year to the day of Brandywine's dramatic rally and final at-bat victory over Schuylkill last season when the Lions scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. That victory, which came by the same score on April 10, 2016, also gave Brandywine a third-straight win during a winning streak that would eventually reach 11-straight games.
The game-winning single in the ninth inning plated pinch-runner Max Palumbo (Springfield, Pa./Springfield), who was running for Will Scott-Norris (Wilmington, Del./Mt. Pleasant) after Scott-Norris singled to open the frame. Palumbo moved to second on Tommy Crumlish's (Upper Darby, Pa./Monsignor Bonner) sacrifice bunt and then advanced to third when T.J. Wiest (Aston, Pa./Sun Valley) grounded out, before crossing home two batters later.
The victory gave John Grader (Denville, N.J./Morris Knolls) his first collegiate win after Grader pitched 2.0 scoreless innings in relief of Joe Samohod (Folsom, Pa./Ridley). Grader worked out of a jam in the eighth inning by starting a double play and retired five of the six batters he faced overall, including one strikeout. Samohod, who earned PSUAC Pitcher of the Week earlier in the day, fired 7-plus innings, fanning five, while allowing just one earned run on nine hits.
Schuylkill led 1-0 entering the bottom of the second when Brandywine struck for four runs. Brett Sheeran (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) forced in the Lions' first run when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. John Gorgone (Ridley, Pa./Ridley) followed with a two-run double before Spitaletta added a RBI base hit.
Schuylkill answered with two runs in the third before tying the game in the seventh inning.
Spitaletta, Gorgone and Scott-Norris all tallied two hits to lead Brandywine at the plate.
Brandywine (8-15, 6-2 PSUAC) begins a three-game series with Penn State Hazleton on Thursday in Hazleton at 3:00 pm.