Kimmel Breaks Out In Second Round Win

Geoff Kimmel
Geoff Kimmel

SALISBURY, Md. - Geoff Kimmel had five hits and drove in five runs as the Wesley College baseball team won its Capital Athletic Conference second round playoff game against York (Pa.), 15-5, on Friday afternoon at SU Baseball Field. The Wolverines (26-11) will return to the field on Saturday, April 21 at 4:00 pm where they will take on either Salisbury or York (Pa.). The Sea Gulls and Spartans will play each other earlier that day, at 9:00 am, in an elimination game.

A senior from Lawrenceville, N.J., Kimmel (5-for-6, two runs) tied a school-record with his 39th career double in the top of the ninth which also drove in two runs.  It was the second five-hit game of Kimmel's career and the third time that he has drove in five runs.  The five-hit effort was the first for a Wesley player since Rob Benedict did so on March 27, 2010 at Gallaudet.

Wesley, who connected for 18 hits on the day, took an early lead with two runs in the first. Benedict was plunked with a pitch to start the game and he scored as the very next batter, Jon Carlson, tripled to left field.  Morgan Rupp followed Carlson with an RBI groundout, just before Kimmel's first hit of the game.

After both teams went scoreless in the second, the Wolverines increased their lead to 5-0 with three more runs in the third.  Carlson and Rupp reached safely with one out and both advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch before Kimmel's RBI single through the left side.  Steve Perone then walked to load the bases for Sam Farnell, who plated both Rupp and Kimmel with a shot up the middle.

York was able to get two runs back off of Wesley starting pitcher Jordan Lozzi in the fourth, but that was before the Wolverines sent 14 batters to the plate in the sixth and scored  eight runs on eight hits. Matt Robles started the scoring with an RBI double, forcing the first of three pitching changes that inning for the Spartans.  The relief pitcher did not fare much better as the first batter he faced, Benedict, drove in both Bryan Reshetar and Robles with a double to the gap in left center.  A single by Carlson put runners on the corners and Rupp followed up with a fielder's choice which scored Benedict from third.

With Wesley now up, 9-2, with two runners on and two outs, Kimmel hit a two-run bomb to left field, extending the lead to 11-2.  Perone and Farnell followed Kimmel with a walk and a single, respectively, before another pitcher came into the game for YCP.  Reshetar then welcomed him with an infield single to load the bases before back-to-back walks issued to Casey Rothwell and Robles scored two more.  The two free passes forced another substitution on the mound but Joey Couch was able to get Benedict to ground into an inning-ending fielder's choice.

Now with an 11-run cushion, Lozzi gave up a run in the sixth and two more in the seventh, but Wesley continued to lead 13-5 after seven innings.  The Wolverines increased the advantage back to double digits in the ninth on Kimmel's record-tying two-run double which scored both Carlson and Rupp.

Kimmel was not the only Wolverine with an outstanding day at the plate.  Carlson recorded four hits in six at bats and matched Rupp with a team-high three runs scored.  Farnell (two RBIs) and Reshetar both recorded three hits while Benedict, Rupp and Robles both drove in two runs.

A junior southpaw from Forest Hill, Md., Lozzi (6-3) earned the victory while allowing five runs in eight innings while striking out six.  Rich Lober pitched a scoreless ninth to seal the win for Wesley.