AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Penn State Brandywine had to overcome four-run deficits in both games as the Lions opened play at the RussMatt Invitational by sweeping Penn State Fayette by scores of 11-7 and 7-6 at Lake Myrtle Park on Saturday night.
The Lions took advantage of five Fayette errors, scoring six unearned runs off a quartet of pitchers. Brandywine received five innings of relief from Ricky Palmer (Levittown, Pa./Pennsbury), who claimed the win on the mound. He allowed three runs on six hits, while Kevin Sessa (Broomall, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) worked out of a sixth-inning jam and fired a scoreless seventh inning to earn the save.
Dalton Palmer (Shrewsbury, Pa./Susquehannock) and Donahue recorded back-to-back singles to start the third inning and Palmer scored the Lions' first run on a groundout, while Donahue came around to score via a wild pitch.
One inning later, Brandywine took the lead, scoring three times as Hayden Altimari (Dix Hills, N.Y./St. Anthony's Prep) worked a bases-loaded walk and Donahue plated two with a single. Buoni tallied a run-scoring hit in the fifth, while five Lion runs scored in the sixth. Brandywine took advantage of two Fayette errors and Buoni provided a RBI double, while Ben Mutz (Swarthmore, Pa./Strath Haven) added a two-run triple.
Joe Hurley (Downingtown, Pa./Bishop Shanahan) and Dalton Palmer both added two hits, while Palmer, Nick Wright (Aston, Pa./Sun Valley) and Sean Donahue (Ridley, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) all scored two runs.
Brandywine again had to rally from four runs down in game two after Fayette, aided by 10 walks issued by Lion pitching, took a 6-2 edge into the fifth inning.
The Lions stormed back, climbing within two when Dalton Palmer scored on a sacrifice fly and Sean Donahue singled in twin brother Tom to cut the deficit in half to begin the fifth. Wright followed with the go-ahead hit, clearing the bases with a two-out, opposite-field double to right.
Brandywine pitchers combined to limit Fayette to four hits in the nightcap. Derek Cappadoccia (Scotch Plains, N.J./Scotch Plains) struck out two in 1.1 innings, while Tyler Michaels (Aston, Pa./Sun Valley) whiffed four during the next 2.2 frames. Nick Petrella (Garnet Valley, Pa./Garnet Valley), who earned the win in relief, fanned one and did not allow a run in two-plus innings.
After a hit batter put the tying run on first base to begin the seventh inning for Fayette, Altimari threw out the runner attempting to steal and Mutz retired the final two batters he faced to land his third save of the year.
Wright went 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBI to lead the Lions at the plate.
Brandywine (5-1) has an early start Sunday when it faces Coe College at 9:15 AM.